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  • Laurie

How to take notes

To make school easier, a great thing to do is to take notes during and/or after class. Both of those methods have advantages and purposes, but they are sure to help you study for upcoming exams.

Here are a few tips to take the best notes in class or at home (to study) and why you should take notes.


In class: When I take notes in class, I feel so much more attentive, because I need to write as much as I can. I really have trouble listening to what the teacher says, because I always get distracted by every little detail of the room or just because I start doodling. Now I NEED to listen to the teacher, I do much better. With the notes I get, I can study better and more easily. I used to just read my textbooks, but the sentences in them are always super hard to understand and I needed to read and read and read over and over before understanding what was written. Now, that's what's written in my textbook and what my teachers say are translated in my words, I can understand everything with just one look at my sheet of paper. You have more info than you need and you know what's going to be in the exam.

At home: The point of taking notes at home is to study. You can put what's in your textbook in your words or mix the information in your textbook and the notes you took in class to have ALL the info you need. The second one is really useful for really big exams that are really important. I usually do the second one, because, sometimes, the teacher tells you what's going to be on the exam and you can write it in the notes you took in class.


In class:

  • Use keywords and short sentences: If you try to write too much, you're going to lose focus and you're going to miss more than you're going to learn. Only write the important things and write them in your words so you'll still understand later.

  • Use abbreviations: To write faster, I suggest you make abbreviations that you'll remember using maximum 3 letters of a long word. It'll take less of your time and you're going to be able to move on faster. Writing "incomprehensibilities" is really long and you have high chances of writing it the wrong way, because you're writing fast and focusing on two things at once. Instead, just write something like: "icies" (I just made that up) or whatever you think you can remember.

  • Have a simple color code (or none): I'm a visual learner and I need color codes to understand my notes, but when I take them in class, I don't have time for that, so I usually just highlight the important words or the titles.

  • Write in your own words: I already mentioned how much important I think this is, but it's not for nothing. One advantage of taking notes is that you don't need to always look up the infos in your textbook and have to re-read them many times to understand. Witch notes, you can write the important things the way you want. Don't only use your words, sometimes, write the exact thing your teacher says.

At home (to study):

  • Use color codes: When you take notes to study, you have the time to use colors and I think it's important that you do. Make up your own color code in functions of what they have (highlighters or pens) and the colors you have (a lot or a few).

  • Headers: To difference the information you're writing, you can use headers. If you go on Pinterest, you'll find many headers you can use to take your notes and separate the different info by importance or subject.

  • More details: Don't be afraid to write longer sentences. What I like to do, if I have a very complicated sentence from my textbook to write, is to write it once the way it's meant to be written and write it a second time in parentheses in a simple way I understand.

  • Doodle and make charts: When you need to show the evolution of something, draw the steps or make a chart, depending on what you want to show the evolution of. If you don't want to describe something with words, try to draw it. You may have no talents in drawings, but so do I and that's still what I do, because, even if my drawings look awful, I still understand what they mean.

I feel like I kept repeating myself in this blog post and I'm really sorry about that. I still hope this helped you out and that you'll be able to write better notes and understand your classes much better.

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