Let me be the first to tell you that college is no walk in the park. Back in middle school I never had to study to get good grades and in high school I studied a bit and was fine. However, once I came to college that quickly changed. I needed to learn how to study to get the grades I wanted. It was tough figuring out a system that worked for me, but once I did it became second nature.
The main way I study is by taking notes. I remember things by writing them down. That’s why you’ll see me put my homework in my planner, write out to-do lists, and write things my mom tells me do. Typing up notes can lead to mindless processing. One study found that writing out your notes “leave a motor memory in the sensorimotor part of the brain“. Meaning that our minds then recognize the letters we are writing and makes a connection. So, on that note, handwriting your notes can be very beneficial!
Here are my tips and tricks to taking great notes that will definitely help you boost your grades!
-Read the chapter summary. I like to copy mine on a post it note and stick it on the notes of that chapter!
-Read the chapter you will be covering before that class time!
-Write down headings and important details. Try to summarize as much as possible and in your own words! That helps your brain process the information into a way you can understand it.
-Look up definitions of the words you don’t know. Make sure to write these down in your notes!
-Write down any questions you have for the professor.
-Write down anything the professor says that is new information.
-Mark important topics that you think could be on upcoming tests.
-Listen intently; Don’t use your phone or laptop…It WILL distract you!
-Write down any questions you have and stay after to chat with your professor, email them those questions, or stop by their offices hours!
-Go back through both of your sets of notes. Make notice of things mentioned twice. That will usually be on the test.
-Re-read both sets of notes; It will help you remember.
-Highlight only important things! I like to highlight names and vocabulary words. Do not highlight every sing thing!
-If your professor is a fast talker and it’s hard for you to keep up make sure to ask them to repeat what they said!
-Ask your professor if you are allowed to record the lectures. Make sure you ASK PERMISSION! It is very important to make sure you are allowed to record before you actually do! If you can, do it! Then listen to lectures while re-reading your notes. Make note of anything you missed!
-Make sure you are not re-writing the textbook into your notebook. Rewording is key!
-Make it fun! Go on Pinterest and search up notes, you will find tons of note-taking inspiration! Pretty but functional notes will be very helpful! Check out my school inspiration board here!
Hopefully these quick tips will help you take better notes so you can study more efficiently! If you have any tips or tricks definitely comment them down below!