Note Taking

I am currently pursuing an Economics degree at a local university. After starting school I realised that note taking is very important. The textbooks are just WAY too thick for last minute cramming and inefficient way of revising for quiz/finals. I tried that in my first semester and my results suffered. So I decided to try a new method of note taking. I googled and found out a method called Cornell Note-taking and tried that for one semester and my GPA went up.  Here’s a sample I found online:

Cornell Note-Taking

I didn’t bother writing a summary cause I find that in the end I will just write everything from my notes in the summary, just in a more organized way so it is a waste of time. Here are some of the notes I took in my previous classes:

Macroeconomics notes
Macroeconomics notes
Macro notes. Left side: Examples. Right side: Note taking during lecture.
Macro notes. Left side: Examples. Right side: Note taking during lecture.

For my economics courses that require a lot of graphs I will keep the left side of the page empty and fill only the right page during lecture. During revision I will write down additional examples from the textbook or sometimes I will redraw certain graphs that I need to pay more attention to. So when it is time to revise for finals I don’t need to flip through the textbook so often.

Maths notes. For maths I write on both pages. If the prof talks too fast I will scribble everything down first then reorganize my notes after lecture.

It is time consuming to rewrite everything but for maths I need to practice and practice and practice. So copying down the notes again helps me to reorganize my thoughts and spot things I missed out during class.

Japanese language notes
Japanese language notes

For language notes I do not use Cornell note taking method. Instead I will just leave 2 to 3 lines below each sentence so that even if the teacher is speaking too fast I can still copy first and do translation later.

Thai language notes
Thai language notes

Also I try to copy the translation in another colour to make it easier to for me to read and understand what I scribbled during class.

I am the type of person that will fall asleep super duper easily, especially in a cold lecture theatre and with a professor talking nonstop about some really difficult/dry theory. Reading lecture notes before each class helps me to stay awake cos I know which are the difficult parts of the lecture that I need to pay more attention to.

During lectures I will take notes on printed ppt slides and write additional stuff in notebooks using Cornell method. I keep one notebook for each subject.

After lecture I will review my notes either during break or on my way home. The bus and train ride from my school to my house takes a looong 1h30min. After getting home I am usually too tired from commuting and will just lie on the sofa until dinner time. Revising on trains and buses helps me to save time so that I can jump right into homework after dinner.

Samsung galaxy note 10.1
Samsung galaxy note 10.1

This semester I am trying to take notes with my new baby- Samsung galaxy note 10.1 2014 edition. Getting a tablet saves me the trouble from printing and printing so many notes. I am not sure how revision will be like on a tablet and if my grades will be affected but I am going to try it out.


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