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Note Taking | 5 Tips & Methods for Effective Note Taking

Hello guys, in this article, I’m going to discuss tips and effective methods of note taking. Effective note taking is very important to get higher grades in your studies.

Also don’t forget to read our amazing article which is about 7 Exam Preparation Tips

Is note taking important?

Of course, note taking is very important if you’re targeting higher grades. No matter how hard you listen to your lecturer or teacher, eventually you’ll forget most out of your lesson.

So, it is very important to have a good set of notes with you. Moreover, you can revise your notes whenever you want.

Most importantly, better notes will act as your guardian angel when it comes to exams.

What are the requirements for effective note taking?

Reading this article carefully is the main requirement you should concern.

I’m just kidding, other than reading this article, you should have following practices too;

  • Listen to your teacher or lecturer carefully.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask a second time if you’ve missed some points.
  • Don’t bunk your classes or lectures. Guys, it is very important to participate in your class sessions (It’s okay to bunk a single lecture. But, not an important one).
  • Don’t rely on other’s notes. Because, maybe you won’t adapt to another one’s notes. But it is not a problem to take notes from a brilliant student if you’ve missed some lectures. So, make your own note using your friend’s note. Don’t take a copy or a photograph and keep it to yourself believing that you’ll study those in the end. You won’t, trust me!
  • Create notes daily basis. It’ll make easier for you to engage in your studies. Also, you’ll be able to overcome your boredom to studies.

Methods of note taking

If we search, there are many note taking methods according to the type of the note.

But, to be honest, you won’t remember every note taking method when you’re practically doing it.

So, I’ve thought to provide my readers a note taking method that will suitable for every kind of situation. Also, I’ve created this method including all those good methods in note taking.

So, you can use this method whenever you’re making your notes or short notes.

Tip 1; Structure your lesson

First of all, you should structure your lesson. Before you start to make your notes or short notes, firstly, you should write the main and sub-topics of your lesson. If you’re lecturer is not providing a good structure of the lesson, this step is very important.

But most teachers or lecturers are providing a structure of the lesson before they start the lesson. If you’re lecturer is providing a clear structure (in a piece of paper or a PowerPoint slide), don’t bother to write it down in a separate sheet.  

Tip 2; Try to write mind maps as much as possible

In mapping method, you can write your notes in a style of a map. This is much suitable for short notes. Because it is the most effective way to remember your notes.

For example; If you’re studying various types of stakeholders, you can write the word ‘stakeholders’ in the middle and write the types around it connecting by arrows.

Another good example is that, if the topic divided into many segments, you can create a small map (Like roots of a tree) for that. Check the below mentioned example so you can take a clear idea about it.

When you’re taking notes or making short notes, try to practice this method whenever you can. Because this method is very useful when you’re trying to remember a list or a diversified topic.

Tip 3; Use charts and tables more often

Using charts or tables in your notes will present your notes in a clear way. Also, it will structure your notes in an appropriate way, where you can easily remember.

For example, consider that you’re learning advantages and disadvantages of business outsourcing. Instead of writing those advantages and disadvantages in a paragraph or sentence wise, you can put them into a table. So you can compare those advantages and disadvantages effectively and also you can remember them easily.  

Tip 4; Simplify your notes as much as possible

Your lecturer or teacher may use heavy words and sentences which is hard to remember at all. It is not necessary to write those sentences or words as it is. But guys, don’t try to replace words or sentences if it is a necessary word such as a ‘term’. For example; if you’re a management student, you have to use words like strategies, governance, acquisition, benchmarking, etc.

But, other than that, try to simplify your notes as much as possible.

If you’re writing a short note, while your simplifying the note, try to shorten your sentences. Also, make sure that you have the whole idea, so you can elaborate it when you’re writing the exam. It means that you have to summarize your note, not to cut words or sentences whenever you want. Moreover, when you’re reading the short note, you must have the ability to take the whole idea of that topic.

Tip 5; Make short notes that can easily carry.

When creating short notes, most students make a huge pile of notes. Guys, it is not a short note. You’re just re-writing your notes again and again. Don’t waste your valuable time for such a thing.

An appropriate short note should be;

  • Easy to read
  • Easy to understand
  • Easy to remember
  • A clear structure of the lesson
  • Easy to carry

Most importantly, short notes should not be another burden for a student. It should ease-up the studying process, so a student won’t miss a single point when it comes to exams.  

Believe me, if you follow the following method accordingly, you will not hate exams ever again!

If you’re not using short notes until now, start today. Additionally, it will be easier for you to remember difficult areas in your subject or module. I’ll show you how to make short notes easily. Also it will encourage you to study the same thing many times so that you’ll never forget those points in your exam.  

Step 1: Take a piece of paper. A4 is an ideal size for short notes.
Step 2: Fold the paper from the middle point so that you'll have a paper that is easy to keep and read
Step 3: Finally, you should have a piece of paper like this

Most importantly, remember to number your short notes. Also try to include all the important parts using minimal amount of words. 

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