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Hot Tips for Effective Note Taking - Ciara Cummins

Updated: May 20, 2019

Note taking is an important part of learning. According to a study on memory conducted by the University of Texas, Austin, “47% of what a person has just learned is forgotten in the first twenty minutes and 62% is forgotten after the first day”. To make sure what you're learning in class and in tutoring lessons is sticking in your memory, here are 8 hot tips for taking effective notes!




Tip #1

Start each subject on a new page. If you teacher says “Today we will be going through 3 key themes in your English text” then you should start each theme on a new page. This helps keep your notes in a neat and organised order, helping you be more effective with your study before an exam.


Tip #2

Use loose-leaf paper and write on one side only. By using this tip, you can easily set your work out side by side for easier reviewing before an exam, rather than constantly flicking between each side of the paper to try and find information.


Tip #3

When writing your notes in class, leave a few blank spaces. This allows you to add comments and extra material later.


Tip #4

Don’t write in full sentences! Keep your notes as brief as possible, this is why they are called notes and not an essay ☺ Using a phrase or a few key words is easier for you to remember when you're studying.


Tip #5

Jot down all unfamiliar vocabulary in a separate section. This is an easy way for you to keep track of what you need to review and spend time understanding. Keeping it in a separate section also helps your brain compartmentalise these words – making them easier to remember!


Tip #6

Know what to write down. When taking notes, it’s easy to feel as though every piece of information is important but try not to get too caught up in this! Specific details, definitions, facts, explanations and examples are the key things that should be in your notes.


Tip #7

Don’t over do it with the colour coding. Only the most critical information should be colour coded.


Tip #8

Colour code your notes after you are finished writing your notes. It's easy to feel as though you need to colour code as you go, but colour coding after writing your notes forces you to re-read your notes. This helps you to organise your notes more effectively, and study more efficiently.

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