Before we start…
Review the notes you have taken so far and rate them based on the following criteria: (from 1-defficient to 6-very good)
- – They include the main ideas given in the explanation:
- – The ideas have a logical order:
- – Cleanliness:
- – Clear handwriting, underlining, etc.:
- – Order:
- – Brevity:
If the average is three or bellow three I advise you to read the following.
Note taking is easier than it seems. That is why it requires a concrete and practical training. Concentration is essential.
A good idea to make note-taking easier is to know in advance what the subject to be presented is about. That is why, if possible, it would be convenient to overview the subject the day before so we know where things might go. On the other hand, your attitude towards the teacher and the subject should be positive. Do not judge beforehand and do not let your mood, sympathies or antipathies carry you away. Focus on what you do. Control your attention. Do not wander off the subject. It is essential for you to pay attention to your teacher, look at him, find the key messages in his explanation and focus your attention on:
- Capturing the logic behind what the teacher explains.
- Comparing what he says with what you already know.
- Finding out what is the use of his explanations for you.
Summarize what the teacher says. Use paper that you can file. Always use the same format. Save your notes in files by subject and day. Start your notes writing down the date and subject in the upper part of the sheet. This will make classification and order easier. Take notes in a way that makes them easier to read. Do not write down everything the teacher says. Do not copy it all. The important ideas only. Write down dates, names, references, etc. Leave enough space to the right and left to add notes. Use underlining and capital letters to highlight what is important. Be brief. Shorten words as much as possible. Use acronyms, abbreviations (that can be easily understood later) or any sign that you like and that means something to you.
You can create your own rules or symbols. Practice a little and you will see how your results will improve.