Note-taking can certainly be a tricky skill to master for any student, and taking good notes is something that needs to be practiced in order to perfect. Here at Tutor Doctor we know how important concise and comprehensive notes are when it comes to revising, studying and homework. That’s why we’ve come up with some tips for students so they can really hone their note taking skills. Discuss some of these strategies with your son or daughter and before they know it they will be a pro note taker!
- Remember that what works for one student might not work for another
The process of taking meaningful and useful notes is completely different for every student. For example, if a student is creative, they may prefer colourful notes or drawing a small doodle to help them remember something accurately. Others may prefer listening to an audio recording of the lesson and taking down notes or writing cue cards on their own time at home. Most students will prefer jotting down bullet points whilst their teacher or lecturer is speaking and coming back to them later. Whatever works best for a student is the easiest place to start when it comes to learning how to take effective notes during class. For more information on what kind of learner your child is check out our blog post- Understanding your child’s learning style.
One of the most important tips for any student learning to take notes is to avoid trying to write down everything the teacher says! This tip will be particularly helpful for students taking notes by hand. Instead students should really have to engage with the learning and make a conscious decision about what are the most crucial notes to write down. Taking down a class word for word will not only be impossible and messy when coming back to revise, it will make note-taking an extremely stressful and dreaded task. If for any reason your son or daughter struggles when taking notes by hand, suggest taking a laptop instead, as this may be a more efficient way for them to take notes.
Here are two key things students need to remember when trying to summarise lessons in note form:
- Always stick to jotting down keywords and write in very short sentences or bullet points.
- Write out your notes in your own words (unless it’s a quote)- this way when you come back to revise it will be much easier to understand.
- Leave some empty space on each page of notes
Leaving some empty space on each side of notes will allow students some extra room for their own interpretations and any additional information from textbooks. This will be extremely helpful when it comes to revising and homework tasks, as instead of having to write additional information on another piece of paper- they can keep all their notes in the same place. Not only will it make revision and homework much less stressful, it also means students can maximise their time studying rather than hunting for stray pieces of paper!