Note Taking

  • Note taking isn’t just an in-class task; there’s more to it than listening to the professor.
  • Note taking helps you understand your text better.
  • Good notes help you perform better on tests/exams/quizzes.
  • Using techniques such as Mapping and the Cornell Method help you study more efficiently.





  • Get to class 5 minutes early.
  • Bring 2 pens, notebook, and textbook.
  • Take 3-4 pages or more per hour lecture (’tis better to err on the side of taking too many than too few). Be consistent!
  • Write on one side only.
  • Use the Cornell Method:
  • Label and date each page.
  • Put main ideas against the margin: indent details.
  • Go back over notes within 24 hours; main ideas, key terms,
    and leading questions should be written in the margins.

Do Not:

  • Get to class late.
  • Come to class unprepared.
  • Squeeze notes together.
  • Listen passively.
  • Forget your notes until test time.
  • Be afraid to take too many notes.
  • Be afraid to ask questions!

I like to high light important events and dates in my history notes and history book after each class, so it is easier to pull all the information together to study from. –Allyson Cline ‘15

I usually like to take notes using bullet points with headings. I try to get more of what the teacher says down in my notes, because usually they upload PowerPoint to blackboard anyway. And some of my teachers will put things they say on the test as well as things on the PowerPoint. I do this for all my classes that use PowerPoint. –Jaelynn Bennett

When studying a foreign language vocabulary make flash cards. On one side put the word in English , and on the other side the word in the other language. You can draw a picture on the non-English side as a hint. Quiz yourself with a partner and go back and forth a couple of times. –Alexandra Johnson ‘14

Use the same type of pen or pencil on test that you use for notes in that class. Your mind may recall more details and you will soon form a relationship with a “lucky pen” (better buy extra just in case you lose it). Draw a box at the top of every notebook page and during every class session write new or important words or concepts you hear in that box. When it comes time to study, write each word from the boxes at the top of your notes onto a notecard. Try writing the word or concept on one side of the notecard and on the other side of the notecard draw a picture of the definition rather than writing it out. Your mind may recall those images of the definitions better than the written definitions.

– Dr. Low Chaplain and Professor of Religious Studies

Rewrite your class notes (if there’s a good bit of lecture) into possible T/F, multiple choice and short answer essay questions. In the margins of texts write possible test questions about every half page or lengthy paragraph. Graduate students do this when creating text banks for the text books professor sometimes use. It’s not hard and it works. –Dr. Dorries Professor of Communications

Use a 3-ring binder- Dr. Lemons Professor of Education