Just as getting the right answer on a math test requires you to use the correct formula, sometimes earning A's is a matter of following a useful note-taking formula. But, like with anything else, there's a right way and a wrong way to take notes. Learn how to take notes the right way and I guarantee you'll feel more prepared for tests and earn better grades!
1. Get Organized
You don’t go to a library and find books with crinkled pages haphazardly stacked on shelves, so why would your notebook look so messy? Your notebook is a reflection of your brain—if your notes are a mess, then your brain is a mess! If you want to take notes the right way, step one is getting organized! Buy multiple notebooks with dividers so it's easy for you to find the right information when you're studying. Trust me, your brain will thank you!
2. Color Code
Highlighters are your best friends when it comes to note taking! Help your mind categorize data by using different colored highlighters to emphasize different things—like new vocabulary, dates, formulas, important people, etc. It will make studying a much smoother process!
3. Develop Shorthand
The faster you can take notes, the better! You want to record as much information as possible as your teacher is lecturing. Plus, shorthand is really personal. It becomes your own language, which will make it easier to recall on a test.
4. Don’t Miss a Beat
If you're ever absent, don't simply assume you'll figure it out. Take action! Borrow a friend's notes right away and copy them—by hand. Ask your friend to reteach the lesson, too, or watch YouTube videos on the topic. You need to try to simulate a lecture-type lesson as closely as possible and fill up the empty pages of your notebook.
5. Draw Pictures if You’re a Visual Learner
Some of us are visual learners, so staring at words on a page while your teacher drones on about facts and figures won't help very much. Instead, doodle! Doodle like crazy to create visual representations of what your teacher tells you about. When the time for a test rolls around, those drawings in the margins will save your life!
6. Record Lectures if You’re an Auditory Learner
If you're an auditory learner rather than a visual learner, try recording lectures. Record them on your phone or, if you don't want to drain your battery, a recording device. Every day after school, listen to that day's lecture over again, while eating dinner or working out so you don't feel like you're "wasting time". While studying for a test, listen to bits and pieces that stick out in your memory as important.
7. Mnemonic Device
You're a real genius if you can just stare at a page of information and memorize it! But for most of us normal folk, mnemonic devices are the way to go! They help you make a unique, funny, or interesting way to remember details for a test. The more you come up with them, the easier it will be to come up with them as the school year progresses.
See, earning A's is much easier than it sounds! All you have to do is follow these simple note-taking tips and I promise you'll see a positive difference in your grades! What other tips do you have for students who want A's but just can't quite get them?