Write This Down

Finals are creeping up on us and professors are wrapping up classes with important information that you need to know for your final. Here are some more helpful tips to keep you afloat and on board so you are ready to study.

1. Be Prepared! 

Make sure that you have everything you need to take notes! Paper, pencil, and pen are a good start but adding a highlighter can make your notes more effective. When your professor says something twice, emphasizes his point, or blatantly says something like “this is important”, highlight it! That way when you go back to study for that final, you know that that detail is going to be on the exam.

2. Listen

How can you take notes when you are not paying attention to what the teacher is saying? A good listener is open minded, well rested, alert and not distracted. Make sure you are not distracted with other things on your mind and you are able to fully focus on what the professor is saying. Try your best not to doodle too! That time that you took to draw that masterpiece is the time you lost paying attention to the professor saying what was going to be on the exam. 

3. Note Taking Methods

Make sure you date each lecture and start each one on a new page as well so you can refer back to certain days easily. Also, it helps to also put the chapter and section if possible if your professor follows from the book. By adding spaces in between thoughts, you can add comments and questions regarding the information. NEVER write full sentences, it takes too long to write out so instead, write a short phrase that summarizes the sentence or even a word. Using abbreviations to shorten long words and symbols to represent something makes it easier to keep up during the lecture. For example, the sentence in your biology class, “Genes are the primary units of inheritance in all organisms” can be shortened to “Genes- 1st unit inherit. in all org.”

4. Content

Content is very important, make sure you pay attention to details, facts, and explanations that are under the main points. Examples and definitions are helpful in understanding content too. When there is an idea that are listed under an overall idea, make bullet points or number them in a list. Also, any diagrams or drawings that are on the board are helpful to understand the content when studying so copy it in your notes.  

5. Review and Edit

While the notes and lecture is still fresh in your memory, review the notes later that same day so you are making sure you understand the notes and comprehend the lecture. Edit some words, phrases or abbreviations that might not make sense to you later on and fully write them out. If you don’t understand something in your notes, make a note to ask the professor later. If your professor follows from a text, double check with your text book to see if you missed anything and fill in important details or empty spaces. If you want to, typing them up later makes it neater and easier to read. 

Good luck with your finals and hope you all have a wonderful holiday break!

-Sarah M.


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