Taking lectures is an important part of studying. No matter the level that you are studying in, whether you are in school, college, or university. Taking all the lectures is necessary and is for your benefit. But, how can one remember everything they study in a lecture? This is the question that is a nightmare for the average student. Who doesn’t have enough brain prowess to remember everything that they have listened to in a lecture? So, how can they withhold the information and remember it? The answer here is to take effective notes. Also known as taking smart notes. The habit of writing notes is something that very few people know of and very less people talk about it. The simple habit of taking notes is something that if done in the right way can work wonders for you. These are some steps that you can follow to take effective notes.
Don’t write everything in your notes
Rule number one and it is quite obvious is to not write everything. You will not be able to write everything that you hear in the lecture. It will consume both your physical and mental stamina and you will be overwhelmed. Also, the notes that you would produce this way will contain a vast amount of unrefined data. Also, the process of sorting it out would also be a huge hurdle. So, the best thing to do is to write less information and do self-research on the topic. What you can do here is to write key points. Also, write the thing that seems important to you in bullet points. In this way, your notes will be more organized, and you will be able to navigate your way through them. It will also be beneficial for you when you are self-studying. This way your notes will be both refined and will contain valid information from the lecture.
Focus more on your Lectures
This goes without saying that you should pay the utmost attention to the lecture. Because if you are not listening to your lecture then no matter how many notes you take, they will not be of any help to you. It will be more effective if you write fewer notes and focus more on your lecture. The thing that you can do here is to listen to the statement that your instructor is telling you. Then you can pin that statement down to a certain word or phrase, and you can write that phrase or word down. This way you can recall the whole statement when you read that keyword or phrase. This way of taking notes is quite effective and it works wonders. It consumes less stamina and your notes are well organized. Also, because of it as your notes will contain refined and effective data.
Use Abbreviations instead of writing full names
To consume less space and to remember things. you can use abbreviations instead of writing the full name of the terms. This will make your notes cleaner and more organized. In this way, you can also keep up with the lecturer who is delivering the lecture to you. One extra thing that you can do here is to try and make your own personal abbreviations. They will be unique, and only you would be able to understand them. This will also help you in remembering the tricky terms that you do not understand. By making abbreviations of these terms, you can remember them. In this way, these terms will stick to your memory. Thus, you should use abbreviations instead of writing the full terms. As they are quite helpful in remembering the hard terms.
Ask questions when confused
As Eugene Jonesco says: “It is not the answer that enlightens but the question”. Thus, emphasizing the importance of asking questions in class. Asking questions is by far the most important part of taking lectures. If you are not asking any questions during a lecture, then that means two things. Either you are quite smart and you have understood everything. Or you are quite dumb and you don’t understand a single thing about the lecture. So, you should pay your utmost attention to the lecture. Try to emphasize asking questions during that lecture. Asking these questions will help you in both clearing your thoughts. They will also help you in designing your notes. Asking questions also improves your critical thinking. It also increases your focus and your class participation also improves. Thus, increasing your chances of scoring higher.
Share and compare your notes with your classmates
Now that you have taken your lecture and have written your notes. It is better to compare them with your fellow classmates. Because every person sees things from a different perspective. Thus, by comparing each other’s notes you can get new insight into the topic. This will allow you to think in ways that you have never imagined. You can also find loopholes and gaps in your knowledge. Then you can correct these factors by seeing the notes of your fellow classmates. You can also find out the things that you have missed in the lecture and can write them down. Doing this will also benefit the weaker student in the class. As they will be able to understand the notes that the rest of the students in the class have taken. In this way, everyone can help each other out.
Convert these lecture notes into proper notes
By now you will have a set of clean and effectively written notes from the lectures that you have taken. The thing to do now is to turn them into proper notes as soon as possible. The sooner you do it the better. Because with time you will start to forget the things that you have studied in the lecture. Also, when you convert these notes into proper notes you will be able to remember the lecture clearly. As your knowledge will be shifted from your short-term memory to long-term memory. This method of converting your lecture notes into proper notes is discussed very well in the book. “How to take Smart Notes” by Sonke Ahrens. You can read this book to get more ideas about taking notes.
These are some of the steps that you can follow to take effective notes during your lectures. They will help you in scoring higher marks in your exams. You will also be able to organize your studies effectively with the help of this method.