Ah, September, as a kid I used to hate it. It meant that I had to go back to school. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really mind school that much, I just liked the freedom of summer better. School took up too much time, although I do like learning.
Here’s a method that I used when I was in school. I would take the notes long hand in class using a speed writing technique that involves leaving out the vowels, smθng lk θs where the θ stood for th. Of course the shorter words like is or to, I wrote out completely. The word ‘the’ became th or θ. Then, as soon as I could, usually on the same day, I would transcribe the speed writing into complete sentences – usually by typing them out. I’d also record the lectures so that if I missed anything, I could catch it. so I would listen to the lecture as I typed the notes. It’s also a good idea to rewrite your notes a few times. That sets the knowledge in your head. This can be done on weekends or times you have set aside to study.
Restating things helps you understand what you have written. That’s a good way to take reading notes. A lot of students highlight passages in books. That’s ok, but to really understand a concept, you should try to put it in your own words. That helps to cement it in your mind as well.
I recommend that any student who is either already attending a college or university, or wants to, should take a course in note taking. I believe that there are some out there. if you can’t find one, there are books on stenography where you learn to write symbols to represent words. Stenography can be invaluable tools for taking notes, which is something that will serve you even beyond school. There will be many times when you will be required to take notes. Being able to take good ones will be very good for you. Learn to take good notes, transcribe them as soon as you can, and reword them at least twice and you will do well in school.
September is a time of cool air, colorful leaves and back to school. A good attitude towards learning is a good thing to take back to school with you, if you go to school. A good attitude and a good idea of how to take good notes are the best tools you can use to make your academic life easier and productive.