One of the most important parts of being a successful college student is becoming a successful note taker. Not only is taking notes important for the sake of making sure you have a record of a professor’s lecture or lesson, writing down notes can also help you remember the information. It is critical that you make note taking a major part of your study sessions. When it comes to note taking, there is no wrong or right way – there is only an efficient and inefficient way. The more inefficient you are, the longer it will take you to study and less you will be able to retain the information. This is precisely why it can help to have a few tips and tricks for taking notes. Here are five helpful note-taking tips for college students.
- Keep it clean
When you take notes, you want to use clean lined paper. If you are going to use scrap paper, you want to create lines. Keeping your notes within the lines will help you keep your notes in a single file. The last thing you want is for your notes to look like they are trying to escape the page.
- Write with a pen
Another important tip for when you are taking notes is to use a pen. Ideally, you want to use a good pen with a lot of flow. If you use a pen that doesn’t have great ink flow, you could risk damaging the paper, or the pen may explode and damage your notes. Also, you don’t want to use a pencil because the graphite could fade or become smudged. If you are taking a GW online class, you will want to keep all your notes until the final test.
- Copy your notes
When you go home, or when you complete a course, you want to transfer your notes to another notebook. You can think of this notebook as the master file. Doing this every day will not only keep your notes cleaner and more organized, but it will also help you retain the information better. If you are the kind of person that likes to cram, you may want to try this method of note taking, because when it comes time to take an exam, much of the information will be readily accessible in your memory bank.
- Stay organized
Of course, you also want to keep all your notes organized. If you don’t, you could be dealing with a serious mess on your hands. Just like you would organize files on a computer, you want to do the same with all your notebooks. Ideally, you want to keep everything labeled according to the class.
- Use short hand
Lastly, you may want to think about using short hand when you take notes. This will help you write much faster and you will be able to write down more of what the professor is saying. In the end, your short hand doesn’t need to look like scribble, but it should be quick and easy to read.