How To Take Good Notes

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Taking notes can be fairly challenging, you want to get the right information down and in as concise and clear way as you can.  You need to re-teach yourself this later when revising exams so you need to make sure that A. you already kind of get the basic concepts and B. your notes include the more specific information that make sure you ace your test. So here are some tips for you on how to take good and effective notes. 

If you’re teacher uses a powerpoint or prezi to teach you then use it! Usually they will have already put this up on Schoology, or if not then ask them to upload it prior to class. If this is the case then look through the powerpoint prior to class and write down the notes, generally everything that is written down. Take screenshots of graphs, diagrams or images that seem important and can be added to your notes. This is something fairly easy, try and actually read through and understand what you are writing down as you do it but if you do find yourself simply copying and pacing thats not THAT bad either, (If I’m honest I tend to watch a YouTube video whilst writing my notes). 

You can then go ahead and watch some videos on the topic you are learning about if you feel like it might be difficult. Especially in biology for some of the more complex concepts I like to watch a Crash Course video before class so I can have a basic understanding of what we are going to be talking about beforehand. Watching videos before is a great thing as often when you have NO CLUE what the teacher is talking about its so much easier to just stare off into space or hop on to tumblr or Facebook on your computer whilst you smile and nod a long to the teachers stream of nonsense in the background. And then you come out of class going oh my god I don’t get that I need to study. Do the studying before! Then you can relax knowing that in class you are doing all the revision you need. This may seem annoying at first but it saves you so much time in the future. Believe me. 

And then you are prepared for class, you have your notes written out and you already kind of know whats going to be taught. This will make it so much easier for you in the long run. Now when you go to class the next day you can follow along with the powerpoint with the teacher. Take out notes when the teacher says its not important or if they simply skip over it. Also add things in when the teacher goes into more depth, often what was written on the powerpoint is more complex than you can understand and so listening to the teacher and writing down extra notes with your own understanding will help you when you use it to revise later. 

This saves you a lot of time as you don’t have to be writing out your notes as the teacher talks which usually results in you simply copying what they say and having no clue what they are saying and never understanding it at all. If you have already done the copying beforehand then in class you are sort of revising it and you can really follow a long and check your own understanding as you are concentrated on what is being said not what you need to write down. 

So take good notes yourself and you won’t ever be stuck frantically searching the web for something better two days before your exam when you realise that yours are inadequate. 


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