#1) Active Listening is KEY to Taking Good Notes!
- Puts you in a better position to understand and recall material.
- Greater recall when studying for midterms and exams.
- Makes class more interesting because you are involved.
- Listen for cues as evidence of what the instructor thinks is important.
• "The three main issues are..." • "The key issue here is..." • "I'll begin by..." • "To sum up..." • "This is really important!"
#2) Try the Cornell Notetaking System - PQ5R
Step 1 - PREPARE
- Read and review any assigned readings.
- Review notes from the last lecture.
- Preview the lecture powerpoint slides if you get them in advance.
Step 2 - QUESTION
- Get unanswered questions from the readings answered in class.
- Write down questions you predict may appear on future tests.
Step 3 - REDUCESet up your lecture notes like this:
- The key column is where you write key questions about the notes
- The notes column is where you write full notes during class.
- Within 24 hours of lecture, generate key questions or phrases about the notes. Write these in the key column.
Step 4 - RECITE
- Cover over the notes column and answer the questions in the key column.
- Recite the material in your own words.
- Did you cover all the points correctly? If so, move on the to the next question.
Step 5 - REFLECT
- Ask yourself - how does this material relate to previous lectures?
- Look for connections. Connections could point to future test questions.
- Write short summaries of each page of your lecture notes in your own words.
- Complete all steps within 24 hours of class to maximize memory.