10 tips on how to take notes from study material
March 15, 2016 / Sharnie Carter
Have you ever made study notes that were useless? Wondering why you have spent hours on studying and nothing has gone in. Well here are 10 tips on how to take notes from study material effectively.
Write Down Key Information
When taking notes write down the main points by using keywords. Try and put it in your own words, as this will be easier to read later on. Writing the information in your own words will also help you understand what it means and will help you memorise it better.
The Cornell System
This system was designed in the 1950’s. With this method you divide your page into 3 sections. The main part of the page is for general notes and a side bar for including key points. The footer at the bottom of the page is for summarising. By using this method, it prevents you from forgetting, encourages concentration and records the main points.
Mind mapping allows you to point out all of the main factors on one piece of paper. All of the information is then broken down into a way that is ready to read and understand. As it is somewhat a creative activity, you are less likely to forget information. It is said that by engaging both left and right sides of the brain, your learning will improve.
Marking Your Text
Mark important information such as keywords and figures by highlighting, underlining or circling them. When looking back over the text, these will then stand out.
Make a List
It is a good idea to make a list of all of the key definitions and important information. This way you will have them all together instead of keep flicking back through your materials trying to find the relevant information.
Keep a List of Questions
Whilst reading your learning material, note down anything you don’t understand on a separate piece of paper. You can then go back to your list and research things you’re not sure of or ask your tutor.
Use Sticky Notes
Insert sticky notes with key points and information on to make them stand out. Using tab sticky notes will also allow you to find relevant information in your book quickly and easily. This will make studying much more time effective.
Index cards can help you learn by putting summarises of information on one side and a key word on the other. By using this technique you can test yourself on a regular basis, improving your memory.
Use diagrams and doodles
Using diagrams and doodles make large amounts of information easier to read and remember. You will be able to relate a doodle to key information, which will make it hard to forget important data.
Using colours will help you group and clearly visualise relevant information together. This will be easier when looking back over your notes.