Effective notes taking techniques in class

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Taking notes from what you read or study is an important and most-effective way of learning. Being in college is quite different from your high school, which requires upgrading your notes taking process.

Tips to improve the note-taking system for every student

Taking notes might not be rocket science, but it is more complex. There are many ways in which you can improve your note-taking skills. Irrespective of what you might believe, there are several different note-taking techniques. In this section, we will share with you additional techniques that students often use to take notes.

Some of these promising note-taking techniques include –

i) Structured technique
ii) The mind map technique
iii) Flow notes technique
iv) The Cornell Method

So, let’s discuss these techniques one by one:

i) Structured technique

This is one of the most frequently used note-taking techniques that students use. Apart from being popular, it is a straightforward method that naturally comes to most students. This is the method in which you have to choose four to five key points to sum up the entire lecture. Once you have scratched out those points, start writing in depth about each of them.

This is a simple approach that is most widely adapted by students globally. This technique makes it very convenient for students to review later on.

ii) The mind map technique

Another very effective note-taking technique is the mind map technique. This is great for subjects like chemistry, history, and even philosophy. Be it a complex topic or a simple one, it can be summed up with a mind-mapping technique. Later when the time comes to revise, these notes can help summarise it all for you. You can see one example below in the image.

iii) Flow notes technique

Flow note-taking is another very popular technique that students use. This technique can maximize their active learning within the classroom. The concept behind this is to take notes like you are teaching yourself. Simply note down topics, draw arrows and make some diagrams to connect them together. While it is a great way to take notes, it is not very effective in reviewing the flow notes.

iv) The Cornell Method

Cornell Method can efficiently divide your notes into sections to get the most out of the review time. In this method, you have to divide the paper into three sections – notes, summary, and cues.

Notes – This is a section you need to use during class to jot down all the important information you listen to. Most students prefer using the outline method.
Cues – The next section of the paper contains cues. This can be filled out with main points, people, and even potential test questions. You can use this method to mention some cues to help you memorize all the ideas.
Summary – The last section of this method helps students summarize the entire paper. You can fill it up with page references, diagrams, and more.


These are some very effective note-taking techniques that students can use to be more effective and efficient in class. We hope this piece of article helps you improve your note-taking skills.

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