Do you wonder how to do better in class? Wish you could remember what you read? What is effective note taking and how can you do it? As a Teacher, I often see students studying hard, but not really learning effectively.
Whether you are reading a textbook, or listening to a lecture, you won’t remember everything unless you do something to help keep the main points in your mind. Moreover, you can’t possibly study for the test or final by re-reading everything. How you take notes makes all the difference in how you study. I can actually usually tell how well students will do in their classes just by looking at their notes.
Effective Habits for Effective Study
You can prepare yourself to succeed in your studies. Try to develop and appreciate the following habits:
Take responsibility for yourself Recognize that in order to succeed you need to make decisions about your priorities, your time, and your resources
Center yourself around your values and principles Don’t let friends and acquaintances dictate what you consider important
Put first things first Follow up on the priorities you have set for yourself, and don’t let others, or other interests, distract you from your goals
Discover your key productivity periods and places Morning, afternoon, or evening? Find spaces where you can be the most focused and productive. Prioritize these for your most difficult study challenges
Consider yourself in a win-win situation When you contribute your best to a class, you, your fellow students, and even your teacher will benefit. Your grade can then be one additional check on your performance
First understand others, then attempt to be understood When you have an issue with an instructor (a questionable grade, an assignment deadline, etc.) put yourself in the instructor’s place. Now ask yourself how you can best make your argument given his/her situation
Look for better solutions to problems For example, if you don’t understand the course material, don’t just re-read it. Try something else! Consult with the professor, a tutor, an academic advisor, a classmate, a study group, or your school’s study skills center
Look to continually challenge yourself.