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The 6 Note Taking Skills Every Student Should Master

April 22, 2014
In a fast-paced world where information travels at the speed of light, note taking skills can make all the difference between effective and ineffective learning. Students can perform way better if they master the art of note taking. In this regard, I am sharing with you this wonderful note taking workshop prepared by Learning Commons which features the 6 important note taking skills students need to develop together with the different methods of taking notes and concluding with the five Rs.

Note taking skills summarized in the handy acronym LISTEN. Listen stands out for :

  • L:Lead
  • I: Ideas
  • S: Summarize
  • T: Talk
  • E: End
  • N: Notes

1- Lead:
Lead entails doing course reading ahead of time and being prepared for the lecture topic.

2- Ideas
Seize upon main ideas instead of writing everything down.

3- Summarize
Summarize the most important information and significant ideas in your own words within 24 hours of each lecture.

4- Talk
Talk to your teacher and classmates to discuss ideas.

5- End
End each lesson or lecture by reviewing and summarizing notes, identifying any problems that you might need to ask about.

6- Notes
Take down only essential points and listen for signal words or important concepts.

There are several different methods for taking notes. Most prominent among them all are : Cornell method, Outline method, T-notes.

1- Cornell method


Cornell method involves dividing a sheet of paper into three parts: a left column for main ideas and key words, a right column for lengthier details, and a section in the bottom for writing a summary after the lecture or lesson.

2- Outline method


Outline method is useful for showing major points and supporting ideas.


 3- T-notes

T-notes is useful for problem-based classes such as math and engineering.T-notes involves dividing a sheet of paper into two columns.

What you do with your notes counts the most. The 5 Rs below helps students make the maximum out their notes:

1- Record
Recording your notes is just the first step.

2- Reduce
Reduce your notes down into key points and summarize then in your own words.

3- Recite
Reciting information outloud can help in  retaining information.

4- Reflect
Reflecting on how the information in your notes relates to course objectives can help you make critical connections.

5- Review
Review your notes the same day of class then summarize down your notes into a single sheet at the end of each week and review these core notes for exam time.



Here is another wonderful visual from Learning commons on note taking.

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