Tips on taking good notes and why you need to

“I don’t care what you think, but you NEED to be able to take note of everything your teacher says during class. There are some people who refuse to, and what do I say to them? Do you really think that it’s going to last? You’re getting older, your set of mind is changing, just daydreaming during class isn’t going to get you anywhere.”

The first thing you need to be aware of is, how do you think? Are you an auditory person, or are you into reading? Either way, you have to find a way to get a hold of your teacher’s lectures, whether be in recording it to a tape or writing it all down. If you’re one of those people who tends to drift off to sleep during talks, then I absolutely suggest you take a pencil and write everything down. You might not get to grips with it then, but at least you have it handy for studying later on.

“But what exactly am I supposed to write down?” I’d pretty much say that you should be writing every word that comes out of your teacher’s mouth. Don’t use shorthand because it’ll confuse you later (unlike what most people say), and coming from a college student, what they tell you about the teachers not going over information again or going too fast, isn’t all that true. Maybe in some cases that can happen, but they’ll only do it if they know it’s in the textbook.

If the teacher asks a question, write it down, if they get a correct answer, write that down too. You have to remember that they ask you these things because it could be on the test later on. I remember being in a history class and I could never just read the book and answer the questions because they were worded so differently. But then I realized that what was coming out of the teacher’s mouth was what it was worded as on the test.

As the weeks go by, keep these little “cheat” notes in a folder marked with the subject name and leave it in a drawer at home. When it comes to exam time, you’ll have everything you need and can use it to prepare for the big test. You won’t have to worry about having to go through the whole textbook just to find an answer and you’ll have more time to actually study.

And don’t worry about having to absorb all the information forever. All the ACT/SAT tests are based on mathematics and reading skills. I got a 1500 knowing absolutely nothing on World War I and String Theory, and while it’s impressive that you remember certain facts, you don’t use them on a daily basis like you’ll have to use reading and math in the future.

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