Tips for taking notes in ANY class

Good class notes are essential to good study skills
If you study bad notes, it's pretty clear that you won't perform very well on tests. But what are good notes? Good notes capture the most important facts and enable you to understand how every fact fits into a larger puzzle.

Many students fall into the trap of attempting to write down every word the teacher speaks. This is unnecessary, but even worse, it's confusing. The key to good notes is identifying the most important things to write down.

Here are some note-taking survival tips:
Tip 01: Location.
Sit close to the front of the class to minimize distractions.

Tip 02: Be prepared.
Keep your notes neat and organized. Use a separate spiral-bound notebook for each subject, or use dividers in your loose-leaf notebook to make separate sections for each subject.

Tip 03: Start by writing down the date.
Begin each note taking session at the top of a fresh page.

Tip 04: Summarize.
Do not try to write down everything the teacher says, but do try to record as many facts and ideas as you can. Mark important facts or main ideas with an asterisk or star or underline them.

Tip 05: Abbreviate.
Use short sentences and phrases and easily remembered abbreviations and symbols. Some commonly used abbreviations and symbols are:
• cf (compare)

• ie (that is)

• eg (for example)

• w/ (with)

• w/o (without)

• &, + (and)

• = (equals, is)

Tip 06: Write clearly.
And leave lots of blank space in the left margin or between ideas in case you need to add information later.

Tip 07: Read over your notes as soon as you can after class.
If there is anything you don't understand, ask the teacher at the next class.

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