Getting the most out of high school
and later on, college, means studying hard and using your time
in class wisely. Make the most of your time in class and out with
an effective note-taking strategy.
It may seem obvious, but your class
notes can only help you if you can find them. When you're taking
notes be sure to:
* Keep all your notes for one class in one place.
* Date and number pages to keep them in order and make it easier
to refer back to them.
Review the materials assigned for
that class period thoroughly. Bring a list of questions you may
have from the reading and be sure to get answers.
Make the best use of your class
time by having a note-taking method. The Cornell Note-Taking
System is one that has been proven effective by countless
high school and college students.
Start by using the main section
of your notebook page to take down your notes during class. Be
sure to leave space on the left side of the page and the bottom.
Things to keep in mind:
* Get the speaker's main points. Don't write down every word
* Leave blanks in your notes to add explanations later.
* Organize as you write. Pay attention to cues such as repetition
* Indicate main points and supporting points as you go.
* Jot down key vocabulary, important facts, and formulas.
* Ask questions. If you're confused it's better to ask while the
material is fresh in your mind.
As soon as you can after class,
review your notes and fill in any blanks. Underline, highlight,
and use symbols to sort through the information. If you don't
understand something, get help from your teacher or classmates.
After you've reviewed all your
notes from class, in the left-hand area of the page write down
key words and questions your teacher might ask on a test. At the
bottom of each page write a summary of the notes on the page.
This helps you digest what you've learned, and will improve your
memory of the notes in the long term, for tests down the road.
Once you've done all of the above,
you'll find you've created your own personalized study guide.
Cover the main sections of the page and use the key words and
questions in the left margin as a quiz.
Stick to It
Review your notes the day you take
them, and all your notes once a week, and you'll hardly need to
study when tests come around. You've been doing the work all along.
Try out the Cornell system, but
if it doesn't work for you, experiment with other methods. Ask
your classmates how they take notes or ask a teacher for advice.
Taking good notes requires practice like any other skill. And
the more you work at it now, the more prepared you'll be later
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