I know a few people that fail their classes because they don’t know how to study. It’s not because they don’t know the materials. They simply haven’t figured out how to retain the information. The first thing you want to do is to be able to have good notes. Here are the few things that you should know to help you in deciding what you need.
Pencil and paper help you remember things.
Using pencil and paper is a skill that we learned when we were younger. No matter how many years we practice writing, we still need to control how we write, or else it will ineligible. Typing is automatic and doesn’t require the brain to think as much as writing does. Therefore, the best way to intake information is through writing it down.
Laptops are only suitable for professors who like to talk a lot.
There are classes where it is pure memorization, where it seems like you’re being loaded as much as information during the class. Writing everything down would lead you to not catch up. This is the time where laptops should be used. Another thing that I’ll suggest is adding a recording device. There are times when you want to write down what the professor explained to understand better the concept, but you find yourself falling behind again. The easiest solution to this is using a recorder. Since I can see the time on the recorder, every new topic we go to I put the time on the recorder. I don’t have to go through the whole audio looking for the particular topic.
I’ve used this tactic many times and found myself being able to catch ALL the notes in my class. My classmates are even the ones who ask to borrow my notes just incase they miss something. That feels nice, isn’t it?
Pencil is always better than a pen.
Unless your professor forces you to write using a pen, use a pencil. Use pencil in writing down notes on a difficult subject like math or anything else that requires you to write beyond the tracing bars. Buy an expensive pen if it helps you. I always buy the most expensive pencil for comfort, and it also helps the legibility of my writing. Try it. It’s worth it.
Try these tips and I promise you’ll be a super notetaker in no time. There are many other things that I didn’t mention, and not all of these might work for you but hey, I thought I’d share what works for me. It might just somewhat help someone out there who’s struggling with making good grades because they haven’t mastered the art of note taking.