College Tips: Note Taking

Before we get started, I want to tell you to check out http://thekissofjoy.com because I have a guest post published on love and relationships! Its my first guest post so let me know what you think of it! {I also picked today because Matt and I have been together for one year and eleven months, yup next month will be two years!!!}

So today I want to talk about note taking! If your professor doesn’t put the slides up online before/after class, then note taking is that much more important. So I’m going to go through if they do and if they don’t put them up online. I’m also going to talk about using a computer/tablet in class.

If Notes ARE Posted Online Before/After Class

If notes are posted before/after class then you have an “easier” time taking notes. If the notes are posted before class, then print them out and take them to class, then there is less for you to write unless you really like to take notes. It is much easier to pay attention when you don’t have to furiously copy down the PowerPoint. If you print out the notes then all you have to write is the “commentary” which is sometimes even more valuable than the information on the PowerPoint.

Now if the notes are posted after the class, you can choose to either copy the information {which is helpful, you remember information more if you write it down} or you can choose to write the slide title and then just the commentary and transfer the commentary to the printed slides.

Whichever you choose to do, I highly recommend printing out the slides if the professor posts them.

If Notes Are NOT Posted Online

If notes aren’t posted online, well then you’re just going to have to copy down the PowerPoints {if your professor uses them}. If your professor does use PowerPoints then it’s useful to copy the information down and if your professor goes too fast, then ask them to slow down. Ask questions and participate in discussion even if you’re copying notes {it gives you more time to write}. Also, if you’re professor doesn’t really talk about it as much as something else, it probably isn’t as important.

If your professor doesn’t use PowerPoints then it gets a little easier to take notes. If professors don’t use PowerPoints than they probably use the whiteboard instead. Here’s how it gets easier, professors usually write down the most important information on the whiteboard. I’m not saying tune out the professor until they write on the whiteboard I’m just saying you don’t have to transcribe your professors entire verbal lecture {unless they tell you that what they’re about to say is important}.

Using a Computer in Class

Now that technology is advancing and whatnot, many people choose to bring their computers/tablets to class because it helps them take notes quicker. However, many professors {at least here} are now writing in their syllabus that they don’t want students to bring computers to their classes. I completely understand why; I’ve seen many people goofing around on their computer instead of copying notes. The truth is, it is too distracting to being your computer to class. If you need to bring your computer/tablet because of an assigned reading that’s too large to print, then do it but still take notes on paper. However if you don’t have to bring it then leave it at home/in the dorms.

You can do whatever has been proven for you to work; if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. These are just some tips that I’ve learned while trying to find the perfect way for me to take notes. Do you have any tips on taking notes in class?

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  1. Great tips, they're all very true! I've found that having my computer can be distracting because I catch myself reading up on blogs instead of taking notes when I'm bored!xx, MikkaelaThe Southwestern Prepster

  2. It’s great to have the notes beforehand, since it is easier to understand the lesson when you don’t have to write the entire time. But if they’re not provided beforehand, then you’ll just going to have to multitask, and understand the lesson while listing some notes down. Though I know some people who take down notes because they say that they tend to recall the lesson more that way, rather than re-reading the power points later on. Anyway, there are a lot of ways to approach note-taking, but it’s always best to stick to what works best for you. Thanks for sharing those tips with us, Lauren. Have a great day!Valerie Casey @ College Funding Freedom

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