I have always been a note-taking person. My way of studying itself is just writing lots and lots of notes. No these notes are not aesthetically pleasing Pinterest-worthy notes, but just a lot of condensed notes based on the textbooks, and teacher notes. But now that I am in college (even though I have been to college just for few days ), there are no textbooks for most subjects and the notes I make are my only savior. So I am gonna share with you how I make my notes in college. Ps I am not talking about lecture notes, but study notes
You are supposed to make notes after each module in college. But my procrastination usually takes me to the months close to exams to finally make my study notes. So by this time, I would have my lecture notes and materials shared by my teachers. And with that let us get to make some notes. Also, I will assure you that you will be quite familiar with your subjects by the end of making your study notes. Cause note making is a kind of subconscious studying.
Set up your workspace.
Before we start making our notes it is important to choose a distraction-free zone. Trust me, you will have urges to do something or anything else than making your notes. For me, my distraction-free zone is my desk. So choose a place where you are least likely to get distracted. After you have chosen a place, make sure you gather all things you need to make notes like:
- A notebook/or paper
- Highlighters (optional)
- pencil( for diagrams)
And if you are one of those people who take those aesthetically pleasing notes you might want a lot more things (let me just say I am jealous of your skills and patience). Also, I recommend writing notes by hand than typing them out, so you are more likely to remember them. Anyways once you have all of the necessary things, it’s time to go to the next step.
Consult your syllabus
If you are not aware of the topics you are supposed to learn, now is the time to check out the syllabus for your courses, in that particular semester. And once you take the syllabus choose the module or unit you wanna write notes about first. Also, keep your syllabus on your desk, until you complete making notes.
Gather your materials
As told before by this time you should have your lecture notes. Apart from lecture notes, you will also have notes and presentations provided by your teachers. Now gather around all the materials you have got on the unit you are writing notes on. And lay all the materials in front of you. from the unit you choose, select the first topic to be in your notes. Then go through the notes and materials and find everything related to that topic. Also, look up the topic online and find some articles related to that topic.
Choose the first topic
From the unit you choose, select the first topic to be in your notes. Then go through the notes and materials and find everything related to that topic.
Once you have all the related materials in from of you read all of it. Then choose the things you want to remember from the chosen topic and write them down, under the title(which will be the topic on which you’re writing ). Also, write down all the pieces of information that are important from an exam point of view. Once you are done move on to the next topic and the next until you complete the entire unit. So by the time you complete writing notes on the unit you might be quite familiar with the topics. But here are some tips to make your notes and note-taking process more efficient
- Use headline(h1) and subheadings (h2,h3,h4etc)
- Try writing in bullet points than in long paragraphs, cause they are more catchy and easy to study
- Do not copy anything word by word except definitions, theories, laws, etc
- Convert everything else to your words, so you understand it better. At least change the order of sentences.
- If there is any topic you don’t understand well, watch some videos on those topics. Only move to the next topic once you can write notes on the first topic, in your own words
- Try to write in your best handwriting, remember if you can’t understand your notes, it’s quite pointless
- Use some symbols to point out important topics
- Try your best to maintain the connection between the topics. do not pick topics randomly
- Try to use diagrams, figures, and flowcharts whenever necessary.
Once you are done writing the notes, take some highlights or color pens to distinguish between headings and subheadings (h1,h2,h3, etc). Also, use highlighters to underline definitions and the most important things. Just add some color or pattern to anything you want to draw your attention to
And for the final step, take a small paper or post-it note and write down the major equations and definitions from that chapter. You can also write down the points you find hard to remember on this paper. This tiny paper should be like a cheat sheet for that whole chapter ( even if you are not allowed to bring cheat sheets to exams), so make it very concise. Now stick this paper or post-it on the first page of your note on that topic. This note is for quick reference of that topic, which I usually find very very useful. I look at these “cheat sheets” just before I enter the exam, for a quick reminder on the topic.
That’s it! That’s how I make notes in college. You can use this method to write notes on the rest of the subjects. While writing notes listen to yourself and bend this method to your own needs. I hope this method was helpful to you. Subscribe for similar content.
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