In everyone’s school or college days, there will be a person whose notes will be photocopied a hundred times just before the exams, and almost everyone will have a copy of it too. We just love to look at that particular notebook since it is written so neatly, underlined and highlighted the main points in different colors. That notebook is so popular because you know all the essential points will be there. Note-taking is an inevitable skill a student should develop for a better understanding of the concepts being verbally communicated. You will be able to make stunning notes that will help you retain and remember the main points during and after the preparation. Here are a few effective methods of note taking that will help you to be a top scorer in the GATE.
- Mind Mapping
Have you ever wondered how the brilliant Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson) in the Taken series remembers every tiny detail about a faraway place? He recreates the entire location, every significant detail in his mind so that he can be familiarized with the place he has never been to. This is the perfect example of mind mapping. You are literally drawing a map, either in your mind or on a sheet of paper, connecting all the main ideas in a systematic way.
This is the most effective and common method of note taking. In order to outline a class that you are listening to, pick up the most important points in that specific topic, and jot down the subpoints under each main topic. You can outline the points using different formats such as numbering, bullet points, roman numbers, alphabets, etc. You can highlight them using different colors. Here you have a well-structured format for your notes. It’s easy to revise and remember. Here is the format of Outlining.
3. Cornell System
It is a proven method of note taking developed by Walter Pauk at Cornell University. This method is similar to outlining but it gives more focus on the structure of the note. For this method, you should take a neat page and divide it into three parts – cue, notes, and summary. In the cue section, you will write the keywords, main points, possible questions, etc. In the notes section, you will write the subpoints, examples, and other important things. In the summary section, you will write a summary of that entire class in a few sentences. Here is the format for the Cornell method.
4. Flow-chart Method
This is an easy way of making notes since there are not many technicalities involved in this. You write down the topic and draw a downward arrow to place the subtopics and ideas related to them at the next level. At the very bottom, you might want to write down the examples and illustrations.
5. Simple Sentence Method
This is the most common method of note taking. This method refers to the record of all the main points being discussed one after another in simple sentences.
✔️Some Sweet Dos in Note Taking
- Give emphasis to certain specific information such as key terms, years or numbers, formulas, equations etc. will help you memorize them.
- Underlining and highlighting the main points using different colors will make your notes visually inviting.
- Make it clear and concise. If you write down your notes in brief sentences with clarity, it will be easy to revise later.
- Always keep it simple.
- Listen carefully to the lecture and identify the main points.
- Focus on the keywords.
❌Some Strict Don’ts in Note Taking
- Do not write down everything you hear. Any attempt to do so will spoil the very meaning of effective note-making.
- Don’t be overwhelmed by the content. Listen carefully and understand the important term or concept and write down just that point.
- Do not make notes using difficult words and phrases.
- Do not mix notes from different classes. Always separate and categorize your notes according to the topic/subject.
Keeping all these in your mind, go ahead and start making your KILLER NOTES! Remember, you can choose any method to follow but that is not enough. You should revise your notes periodically and should practice tests to check your progress. “Practice makes perfect”, they say. Happy learning!