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In a College/ University, how do people take notes efficiently

I'm only in high school but i still know a little bit about how to take notes for college. My question was about how professors act about people saying to wait on a slide or to repeat an idea so they can copy it down? Are those two notions even a thing in college? I just want to be an efficient note taker, but what does it take to write all the notes in college? #teaching #student-affairs

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Ayan’s Answer

There are four stages to good note taking:

Note taking
Note making
Note interacting
Note reflecting

In note taking, students:

• Prepare a page to take notes the same way each time. An essential question at the top of the page focuses the learner on the key learning objective that they should be able to discuss upon leaving the class
• Rule the page into two columns, with the first column taking up about a third of the page. The space on the left is for questions and notes that may be added in later as students reflect on their notes. The space on the right is for the student to take notes from the lecture, textbook, laboratory experiment, video, audio, whatever the source
• Listen and take notes in their own words – paraphrase what they hear so it makes sense to them rather than write down verbatim what they hear/see
• Leave spaces and lines between main ideas for revising later and adding information
• Develop their own consistent system of abbreviations and symbols to save time as they take notes
• Write in phrases, not complete sentences
• Use bullet points and lists where possible
• Learn how to listen for important information versus trivial information
• Take cues from the lecturer or source, e.g. “This is important…”
• Use highlighters and colour to indicate key ideas, changes in concepts or links between information.

In note making, students:
• Review and revise the content of their notes
• Write questions in the left-hand side near where the answer is contained on the right-hand side
• Connect key chunks of material in the notes pages using colour or symbols
• Exchange ideas and collaborate with other students to check for understanding and test the comprehensiveness of each other’s notes.

In note interacting, students:
• Link all the learning together by writing a summary that addresses the essential question and answers the questions from the left margin. Note that a summary is different from a reflection that focuses on the student’s response to the learning task or content
• Learn from their notes by building in to their study timetable regular times for revising their notes for each subject
• Cover the information on the right-hand side and use the questions as study prompts before a test.

In note reflecting:
• Written feedback should be provided by a peer, tutor or teacher to check for the student’s understanding in the initial learning phase
• Students should address the feedback by focusing on one area of challenge they are experiencing in their learning
• Students should also reflect over an entire unit on a regular basis leading up to exams and tests.

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Deidre Mercedes’s Answer

I used to have a hard time taking notes in college because the professors would go so fast you miss a lot. My solution was to get a mini recorder with a good built-in microphone to record their lectures (with permission of course) and then when I got home I would transcribe the notes into my notebooks. That worked well for me because I would end up with neat and organized notes that I can easily refer to for essays and prep for exams. This way too my notes were well written instead of the hasty, chicken scratch I did in class and I avoided the difficulty in trying to make out my own handwriting. Also, you have the option of replaying your recording to go over whatever you missed. Another helpful aspect is that with the recording you can figure out later on what you really need to write down so you can focus all your attention on the lecture. Sometimes you lose some of what is being said because you are so busy writing.

With that, it is important to note that you do not have to write down everything. Just key facts. And also pay attention if the professor says "this is going to be on the test". you want to make sure to get that information down. Also, if a recorder is not your thing you can develop your own brand of shorthand. Whatever you do, reviewing and/or rewriting notes is essential. Do not wait until the night before or day of test to go over your notes. Review them frequently to let the material sink in.

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi Danish,

Taking notes is very important in middle school, high school, and college! Taking notes in class with your teacher can be challenging. If you know the topic, prepare ahead of time - always do your readings and prepare note paper with topics that you can then add note to. You can ask your professor for a copy of powerpoint slides - many will share. Then, you won't have to worry about asking a teacher to go back and repeat something. Plus, it's always better when you review something the second time around.

I found this video from Dartmouth University on notetaking that might be helpful"

Academic Success Videos: Notetaking

much luck,