9 Useful Tips on How to Take Notes

Learn how to focus on key points and jot down useful information with our 9 useful tips on how to make notes. Make this great study method work for you.

Taking notes may seem like a minor task, but it has a world of benefits when studying and preparing for your exams. Struggling to jot down important points? We’re here to help. These 9 useful tips on how to take notes will help you master the art of this great study method.

9 Useful Tips on How to Take Notes

At some point in your course, you have to make notes. Whether you’re taking down info from a  textbook or listening to a lecturer. To perfect this skill, use our 9 useful tips on how to take notes to help guide you on your way:

  1. Listen and Read Attentively
  2. Choose a Method that Works for you
  3. On the Side or in a Notebook – You Decide
  4. Focus on Key Points
  5. Sum it Up
  6. Your Scribbles Will Leave you Confused
  7. Go Digital
  8. Turn Your Notes Into Sentences
  9. Add Some Creative Touches

1. Listen and Read Attentively

Taking notes down randomly never helped anyone. Every bit of information will help. Be sure to listen and read attentively to avoid missing out on important details.

2. Choose a Method That Works for you

Did you know there are quite a few common note-taking methods? Each has its own purpose and outcome. They all have their fair share of cons as well. Make sure to choose one that works for you. Common methods include:

Cornell Method

With this method, your notes are divided into three sections. These are your:

  • Main points

  • Explanation of the main point – in detail

  • Summary of the explanation

Mapping Method

Here you will draw up a mind map, with the main topic in the centre. From there, you will branch out and note key points from your main topic. 

Outline Method

Once you are familiar with a topic, select its most important points. Thereafter, outline each point in great detail, creating sub points as you move along.

Sentence Method

This is a method used during classes. Try and write down everything said, like a transcription. 

3. On the Side or in a Notebook – You Decide

Getting a colorful notebook is a great way to compile and organise your notes. But if you prefer to make your notes on the margin of your work, it helps you connect your ideas in an easy way.

4. Focus on Key Points

This is one of the most important things to remember when making notes. Focus on the main points of your work. It helps narrow down key information you need for tests and assignments. 

5. Sum it up

Once you have your key points, summarise the information and put it into your own words. This will help you remember your notes in an easy and effective manner. 

6. Your Scribbles Will Leave you Confused

Ever made notes but can’t make out what you wrote down? A neat handwriting is a simple solution that will ensure that your notes never go to waste.

7. Go Digital

If you don’t want to write down notes, you can always type them out the same way you would write them. Online tools even allow you to make notes on the margin and comment on the texts.

8. Turn Your Notes Into Sentences

Key points are great. But it doesn’t mean you need to limit the information. To make meaning of your notes, write them over into complete sentences. Your work will be easier to understand.

9. Add Some Creative Touches

We understand that although it’s important, it’s easy to forget your notes. Make them worthwhile by using some color like highlighters, or little drawings for an easier representation of your work.

Pen on top of an open notebook next to reading glasses. Learn more on the 9 useful tips on how to make notes right here.

How to Point out a Key Point

Noting down a key point is easier said than done. At times, it may seem like everything is important, making it difficult to cut it down to a few simple notes. But don’t worry. Take a look at how to spot key points below.

Read Up Before you Note Down

Having background knowledge of your topic is a great way to determine what you need to look out for. So read up on your work before you start. Once you start making your notes, these key words and phrases will stand out to you.

Check the Facts

Facts and definitions are common questions asked in assignments and exams. This is also a great basis for your answers. So when you don’t know what a key point is, take special note of:

  • Facts
  • Dates
  • Terms 
  • History
  • People 
  • Places  

Pay Attention to the Beginning and End

Although all the work is important, pay attention to the beginning and end. The introduction of your texts or lectures will outline the key points which will be discussed. The conclusion will sum up all the work covered, helping you narrow down your focus.

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Noteworthy Tips to Help you Pass Your Course

Ready to put your note-taking skills to the test? Then study one of our courses via distance learning. The skills learnt will help you start a career in the most sought after industries around. For more details on getting started with us, contact our course experts today. You can:

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Last Updated: June 25, 2021

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Charnell Ward
Charnell Ward
Charnell is a top-class content creator at Skills Academy. She creates engaging content with the aim to provide useful information on distance learning and further study opportunities. Her passion for writing goes beyond her career, as she enjoys writing short stories and volunteering as a writer in her free time. View my LinkedIn profile

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