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College Tip # 2 – Taking Notes

Top Ten College Tips

#1 on the top ten college tips was go to class.  Now that you are in class, you need to do what you can to get the most out the class and this is accomplished by taking good notes.  Taking good notes while in class is key because it can help you with understanding material, keeping up with the pace of the class, working on assignments, and studying for exams.

Taking good notes can be challenging due to one reason and that is because a typical college lecture will move quickly.  With that being the case, the following are college tips that can help with your note taking ability

Organized:  It helps to be organized with your notes in terms of how you take them and where you put them.  The typical class will move quickly.  There will be a number of lectures, a number of assignments, and a lot of notes.  The better you are at having a place and process for putting everything, the more effective you will be at taking notes.

Bullet method:  The pace of a lecture is very fast and there it is not possible to write down everything.  Thus, it helps to use a system for writing down as much as you can while listening at the same time.  One method that can be effective for this is to take notes in a bullet format.  What you want to do is listen for key details and write those down.  But use the bullet method to put sub details under main point to easily and quickly build the relationship that all your points have to one another.

For example, if the following is said in a lecture,

“Ares I was developed by NASA to be the next crew launch vehicle.  It is a component of the Constellation Program. The plans are for NASA to use Ares I to launch Orion.  Orion is the spacecraft that NASA is designing for human spaceflight missions.  Orion is what will be used after the Space Shuttle is retired in 2010. In addition to Ares I, NASA is also developing Ares V larger, unmanned Ares V, which is a larger unmanned vehicle that is design more for cargo purposes.”

Using the bullet method, the following could be taken as notes:

•    Ares I
o    Developed by NASA
o    Next crew launch vehicle
o    Constellation Program
o    Used to launch Orion
•    Orion
o    Spacecraft for human flight
o    Used after Shuttle retired 2010
•    Ares V
o    Larger
o    Unmanned
o    For cargo

As you can see, the key details are documented in a format that is clean and organized and this will makes it easy to understand the information when it is time to go back to the notes.  This is one of the college tips that will make you much more effective if you are not already doing something like it.

Filling in the blanks:  
An additional step that can be very beneficial is to go back over the notes after class to fill in any details that were not written done.  The closer this is done to the end of the class, the more effective this part of the college tips will be.  The most effective way to do this is to go to a computer right after the class and type up the notes that you have written and also fill in additional details from memory.  Adding this step to your process is one of the college tips that can make studying for the exam much easier.

Taking good notes is one of the college tips that will help you keep up with the pace of the class and perform better on exams.



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This article was published on Saturday 31 October, 2009.
Back to main topic: Student Life
College Tip # 1 – Go to class
College Tip # 3 – Read the Material
College Tip # 4 – Study Process for Exams
College Tip # 5 – Don’t Fall Behind
College Tip # 6 – Get Involved
College Tip # 7 – Exercise
College Tip # 8 – Get a Job
College Tips # 9 – Creating the Right Environment
College Tip # 10 – Balancing Social Activities
Top Ten College Tips
Benefits of Student Coaching
The Return on Investment from Student Coaching

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