As you move through your high school classes, they become increasingly challenging to keep up with, particularly with notes. In lecture-style classes, it can be difficult to get down all of the important points from a class, particularly if you haven’t been required to take notes before. Before you get overwhelmed, remember these important tips:
1. Create your own shorthand.
It is not important to get down every single word that the teacher says, but it is important that you are able to understand your own notes. Don’t write or type in such a mangled way that you aren’t able to figure out the main points when you come back through the notes to study them again.
2. Writing or typing? Choose what’s best for you.
Some classes may not allow you to take notes on computers, but for those that do, there is an important decision to make. Are you a fast, efficient typer? Do you have particularly illegible handwriting? If so, maybe taking notes on the computer is the best option when it is available. But be careful! Computers can be super distracting during class, so if you decide to take notes electronically, stay focused on the task at hand and don’t use the internet or send emails or anything else. At the end of the day, taking notes by hand usually won’t fail you and keeps you keyed in on what the teacher is saying.
3. Read ahead!
For lecture classes, you usually know in advance which chapter will be covered. Use this information to your benefit by outlining the chapter the night before. If you have background knowledge on the information, you will be able to focus on the information much better and key in to the subtle things that your teacher is saying, because you will already understand the key points.
Building note taking skills throughout high school is essential for achieving the grades you want. And, by honing these skills, you will be much more prepared by the time you go to college. Being able to take good, thorough notes will be an invaluable skill for lecture-style classes at the university level.
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