Student Life pen-writing-notes-studying

Published on March 13th, 2018 | by Jones


Why you should be taking notes in class

When you’re in high school, college or university, taking notes is not always the first thing on your mind. You’re either stressing about a test coming up in the next period, what you’re going to wear to the school dance, whether your crush thinks you exist, what the teacher or lecturer is even going on about… pretty much everything else other than what you’re being taught or why you should be writing it down.

The truth is, by taking notes in class you’ll actually do more than just well in the subject, come the end of year exam.

Find your focus

An obvious result of taking notes in class is that you’ll actually be listening to what’s being taught. And by needing to listen, you’ll automatically be forced to focus. And when did focusing in class ever hurt anyone’s grades?

More than just getting through the year, when you focus in class, you get a better idea of the class you’re taking. You’ll start thinking about it in your own time and have random (yet factual) information to share in conversation. But it’s more about making your own connections with module content that may influence what you want to study or even do one day.

When you focus, you’re able to understand and process information easier. And that will do wonders for both your school and professional career.

Retention of what you’re supposed to be learning

There’s a reason why people make notes when they study for a big test or exam. It’s a method of retaining information in your brain so that you can later on, when you need it most, recall the information and formulate an informed answer for all your exam questions.

When you take notes in class and revise them when there’s a test coming up, your brain is more enabled and inclined to make the connections between what was heard in class, what was written in class, what was rewritten in study notes (if you’re that type of student) and what was read before the exam. Think of it as a type of muscle-memory activity. One that is crucial for understanding and remembering necessary course information. It will also develop how you are able to listen and take notes at the same time without missing out any information.

Organise information in a way you can understand

Taking notes also serves as an organisational tool. Note-taking allows your mind to arrange and sort information into digestible bites of information. You can divide the course material into your own headings and subheadings which will help you understand the work better.

And when it comes to studying, you’ll be able to work through the material quicker and more efficiently as your mind would already have established the connections between content and noted which pieces of information were more important. When you encounter a section of work in your notes that you don’t quite understand or cannot connect, you’ll know it’s a section that requires more attention and study time.

If you hadn’t taken notes in class, you’d be fumbling through your textbooks and blindly trying to find and associate pieces of the information that was covered. Structure is a great thing to have and readily makes tasks quicker and easier to complete.

Taking on responsibility for your studies

There’s a very simple link between taking notes and learning responsibility. Just wait for the first classmate to ask you if they can borrow your notes and you’ll immediately understand.

When you decide to focus in class and put in the effort of making your own notes, you are undertaking the responsibility of your work, your understanding and your progress in your education. You won’t be one of those people looking to sponge off others when deadlines and exam dates begin creeping up – to whom you have every right to say no to, by the way.

No one is going to take notes for you and learning straight from the textbook is missing the teacher and class interaction that brings extra, useful, information to light.

Developing skills for your future self

What you need to understand is that by taking notes in class, you’re equipping yourself with skills that will be useful in the future. When you start working in the real world, you’re going to invest in notebooks like there’s no tomorrow.

Regardless of your job position or whether minute taking is your responsibility or not, every meeting you attend is one that concerns you (otherwise, you wouldn’t be there). For that reason, it will be necessary for you to take notes. That retention skill from school will come in handy in the adult world. Business people talk and they don’t care for repeating themselves and wasting time when time is money.  

Mental and physical notes will need to be taken in meetings and business conversations so that you can excel at your job and impress your employers. Catch what is said the first time and make sure you understand what has been said (ask questions if you really have to). But understand that you will be expected to perform once instructions have been given. And if you’ve made notes, well, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything important.

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A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.

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