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Make the Grade With Effective Note-Taking Techniques

By: Brittany Corners | Published: September 8, 2015

note-taking techniquesSuccess in college starts with taking effective notes that you can refer back to when exams come around. Because course loads can be heavy and cover multiple areas of study, it’s a good idea to devise note-taking techniques that streamline the study process without sacrificing valuable information.

Pre-Lecture Prep

Preparing for the lecture beforehand is half the battle in taking meaningful notes during class. Most classes offer a syllabus so you can take a moment to find the material in your textbook and read up. Highlight or jot down information that is unclear before the lecture. This note-taking technique makes it much easier to keep your questions in mind as the lecture progresses, and you’ll remember the material much easier.

Actively Listen

It’s not enough to simply attend the class, listen and jot down information in order to study effectively. As the lecture proceeds, try to participate, offer ideas and ask questions. Asking questions as the discussion progresses is one of the most effective of note-taking techniques, since you’re taking an active role in shaping the discussion yourself. Having your professor right there, providing more information to flesh out an idea makes it much simpler to write meaningful notes.

Review as Soon as Possible

If you have a break between classes, take a moment to run through your notes after the lecture ends. If this isn’t possible, review your notes at the end of the day while the information covered is still fresh in mind. Knowing what you’re unclear on makes it easy to ask follow-up questions during the next class session. The longer you sit on your notes without studying, the less you’ll remember. That can be devastating when exams roll around.

Utilize Technology and Transcription

Phones aren’t just for chatting and texting. Use yours to record your lectures; the camera can even be used for capturing images of the teacher’s visual aids. Many phones are capable of recording video. Having the entire discussion recorded makes it much easier to study. Go one step further and have your notes transcribed. Whether you prefer traditional outlines, the sentence method or even Cornell, you can utilize an online transcription service to organize your recordings for you.

There are dozens of effective note-taking techniques to help you master the art of succeeding at college. Follow @TranscribeCom for tricks and trends in making the most of your college lecture experience.

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