The importance of note taking
It’s impossible to take great class notes if you don’t go to class.
Make sure you make that first class because that’s when the teacher will let you in on the course outline, and their expectations in terms of homework, class assignments and testing. You’ll get a good indication on how the course will be marked.
The most important habit you can get into when taking notes in class it to write clearly. If you can’t read what you’ve written, your notes aren’t going to be much good to you, and you don’t want to waste your time re-writing all your class notes.
Don’t write down information you don’t understand. Be sure to ask your teacher to explain any material you don’t understand. Once you get the concept you can make notes on it.
Keep your ears open for any hints on possible test questions. Lots of times a teacher will comment on the importance of information and infer that the information will appear on an upcoming test. Make sure you make note of that in your written material.
Take notes on any comments the teacher says about your material. She might indicate some material is more important than others, and some should be memorized sooner than others. Surprise tests aren’t so much of a surprise for students who’ve been paying attention and looking for hints.
The best way to gather great notes for a class is to go to class every day. Aim for perfect attendance. Spending time with your teacher allows you to get to know her teaching style and allows you to better figure out what to study, and what the teacher is looking for in test answers.
It’s tough to miss a class, because the teacher is going to continue moving on to the next thing and you may have missed a crucial part of the course outline the day before. And any material mentioned in class is eligible to appear in a future test. If you do miss class, try and borrow notes from another student (one who takes good class notes.)
TEACHER – Be sure to see our Taking Notes Lesson Plan
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