Better Notes, Better Grades

You sat in class for two hours listening to the teacher deliver the lesson through a PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps, you attempted to follow along by jotting down some important keywords (or you just tried to absorb as much as possible and hope for the best). Remember, note taking is not about your handwriting. If your notes are unorganized and messy, you are not going to get much use out of them. Better notes, better grades. Several studies have shown that effective note taking increases retention of subject matter and test performance. A study conducted by Carrell (2007) showed that students had ineffective note taking strategies. Moreover, there is a significant relationship between note taking and test performance. This implies that, an effective note taking strategy, increases your test performance. Therefore, the evidence still stands. Better notes, better grades. THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVE NOTE TAKING STRATEGIES Your notes are review materials. It allows you to actively listen in class. It allows you to make connections between lessons and topics. It allows you to listen, think and write (you can remember the topics discussed better) There are different note taking strategies that you can use. THE CORNELL METHOD The Cornell method of note taking allows you to organize your notes into details/keywords, cues, main points, and conclude with a summary. THE CHARTING METHOD This method of note taking utilizes columns to organize topics and subtopics. This method is useful for lessons that cover a lot of facts or relationships between topics. THE MAPPING METHOD The mapping method is a visual method of organizing notes to provide relationships among topics and subjects. This is effective among visual learners. Sentence Method This method is effective when there is a lot of information being covered by the lecturer. It involves writing down key concepts in short sentences. THE OUTLINING METHOD This method uses headings and bullets to systematically organize topics and important aspects to remember. Useful when learning about topics that include a lot of detail. References Carrell, P. L. (2007). Notetaking strategies and their relationship to performance on listening comprehension and communicative assessment tasks. ETS Research Report Series, 2007(1), i-60. doi:10.1002/j.2333-8504.2007.tb02043.x This is part of the series, “How to Study.” Don’t forget to check out the previous blog post.