Note-taking strategies: The notes that you record in a class will enhance your learning and recall. The strategies coming up will help you to look at the structure and format of your notes.

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Summarize: The essential elements in note-taking is to jot down only the main points. Highlight and listen to the main points. If there is better note takinginformation to be read in preparation for the class, make sure that you are familiar with the ideas, language and the content of the subject.

Organize your notes: Organize your notes in a way that suits your learning style. Use different coloured pens or highlighters, (depending on the type of learner you are). Should you carry around all your notes for the subject or only the ones for that day? Whatever you choose to do, the structure you use should be the one that works for you.

Visualize: Create/form a picture in your mind about what the illustrator is saying/talking about. This style will enhance the primarily auditory and verbal styles of most lessons.

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Use symbols: Use symbols to speed up your note taking; this will also simplify your note taking as well. Abbreviations and symbols can be effective shortcuts. Some examples are… Q- question, + – more, * – important idea

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Check the chalkboard: Copy down everything that is on the chalkboard or shown on overhead transparencies. Copy down all graphs, diagrams, formulas and dates the teacher writes on the black board. If phrases, sentences, definitions or key words are repeated, indicate in your notes that they are important (*).

Date items and note cross references: Date any handouts or additional materials that are handed out to you. Do so as soon as you receive them. If the written work in your notes has additional material in a text or is based on textbook information, write the cross reference in the margin of your notes for the day.

Review and revise: Set a few minutes off to the side at the end of the day to take time and organize your notes. Re-read them over quickly and don’t forget to highlight information that will be important to study. Copy over or clarify sections that were done in a hurry and might be hard to understand in the future.

Read and link: Read over your notes and think about how they tie in with the previous information gained in the class. Ask yourself, how does this new information relate to what I already know? When you link new knowledge to what you already know, especially within 24 hours of getting it received to you, you create a lasting impression that is better for recall and higher retention.

Make these guidelines for your note-taking to improve your success at school.

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