How to Make Your Student Life Easier, Take Better Notes and Absorb More Information in Less Time


Everything you study in college needs to be memorized and retained in your memory. But what if you study a lot, take notes, and attend all the lectures, but still cannot recall the facts your teacher asks you about? It is possible that you’re doing something wrong and maybe you just don’t know how to take better notes. You need to have a special note-taking system to study efficiently. What is this? You will learn from this article!

  1. Why bother taking notes? This is the fundamental question we need to answer before we even begin learning how to take notes effectively. Here’s the answer: effective note-taking is essential for turning the lecture as a passive way into the active way of learning and retain more information.
  2. Take hand-outs before the lecture. These hand-outs might have some important points. Then you won’t have to write them down.
  3. Filter out the unrelated information. Take notes only of the things you actually need to know. Skip all the background details, jokes, and other information given by the lecturer to grab your attention.
  4. Think critically. Never write things down without thinking about them critically. Consider your personal opinion on the topic. Do you agree with the lecturer’s point? Why or why not? Learn not to take everything for granted just because someone in authority said so.
  5. Pay attention to summaries. In the end of the lecture, the lecturer will summarize all the most important points. Pay attention to that!
  6. Ask questions. Depending on when the lecturer allows you to ask questions, do it during the lecture or afterward. Ask whenever you consider something unclear. It is the only way to make everything clear!
  7. Have several notepads. Use them for different areas or modules. It will help you quickly locate the information you need.
  8. Use shorthand. It means using abbreviations and symbols instead of full words and even phrases. It will help you take notes much quicker and note down more information. You don’t have to use common abbreviations. You may invent your own system that you will understand.
  9. Record the lecture. Don’t forget to ask the lecturer beforehand if you can do it. Use any device you have: a dictaphone or just your smartphone.
  10. Bonus: how to read faster. If you need to take notes from a book, you have to learn to read faster. Here are some useful tips to do it:
  • Have a goal. Whether it’s learning new information, writing an essay, or preparing for an exam, keep your goal in mind.
  • Skip irrelevant information. It can be hard at first, but with practice, you’ll learn to skim them over automatically.
  • Don’t read “aloud” in your head. It’ll slow you down.
  • Highlight key phrases. It’ll help you find the important points after you’re done the reading.

Are you ready to learn faster now?

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