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Tips for Taking Notes

greenlandic boy doing homeworkAlong with the homework your children bring home, studying and preparing for tests and quizzes is a major part of their school endeavor. Tests can seem daunting, but with good note taking skills students can feel better prepared and more confident. Well-practiced note taking skills can also help students with their homework. Students can check their answers against their notes and will have developed a better sense of the material because of the memory reinforcement from writing it down. Quality note taking skills are some of the most important students can develop in school and will lead to better adjustment and success at college. Here are a few note taking strategy tips to help student’s improve their notes!


  • Recognize important details:
    Taking notes isn’t about writing down everything that the teacher says or copying from the text book. Taking notes is about recognizing the most significant and important parts from the day’s lesson and recording them. Pay attention to the teacher’s tone of voice, and for key words such as, “Important,” or “Remember,” or “Pay attention to,” and especially, “This will be on the test.” It also helps to write down examples that the teacher gives, these can be especially useful on the homework.
  • Organization:
    Writing down a continuous stream of notes without indentation, line spaces, highlights or underlining will not produce a a very helpful set of notes. A part of a good note taking strategy is making sure that different ideas are clearly delineated and that related subjects clearly go together. Underline important ideas and terms, highlight similar categories of things in the same color and skip lines to separate subjects or key words and definitions.
  • Reread:
    One of the most helpful and useful things students can do with their notes is to take a little time to reread what they wrote. Taking time every evening or a few hours one day a week, perhaps over the weekend, to reread notes is a very good method for reinforcing memory. Students can also look through their notes to add and highlight important things they missed during class.
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