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The habit of taking class notes enhances focus and makes students pay attention to details.

By Pallavi Kanungo,

Taking class notes is a universally recommended format of studying, both during physical as well as virtual classes. But how do you figure out whether your child is taking notes the right way and recording key information? Students need to understand that writing everything that is said during the class is a time-consuming mistake that should be avoided at all cost. Instead, they should invest their time and efforts wisely and learn to only take down things that can serve as important and helpful resources while preparing for tests. Taking smart notes comes with practice and experience and does not happen overnight. Also, there is no one method that will work. Therefore, kids need to take the trial-and-error method to find out what suits them best. Here are some effective formats.  

Cornell notes: This method includes a detailed and organised note-taking system using 3 simple steps: Points to track concepts, jot down details, and concluding each session with a gist of what’s covered. 

Mind map notes: This method is a more flexible method of note-taking that focusses on visual learning. Here, students create a map-like thing to note down facts surrounding a central concept, that, in turn boosts their logical skills.  

The outline method: This is the most direct and convenient method that uses numbers, roman numerical and bullet points to jot down crucial information; that is the main topic and the sub-topics side by side. If your child is easily distracted, this is the easiest way of note-taking for him. 

The flow chart method: This method is preferred by many students for its efficacy. This method is particularly helpful to study historical and scientific facts, alongside character sketch in fictions. This note-taking includes categories such as cause-effects and chronology and promotes prolonged retention.  

Effectives Strategies 

  • It’s essential to choose a method and medium for a topic and continue with it. If a student prefers the outline method, he should be consistent with it. Similarly, if he prefers hand-written notes over computer notes, he should stick to it. 
  • A great note-taking hack is using shorthand such as abbreviations, as it saves time and effort.  
  • The key is to focus on key information instead of taking random bulk notes.  
  • Images, charts, graphs and timelines alongside conventional note-taking are also great ways of capturing important information. 
  • Finally, notes must be instantly reviewed after the class. Students need to go through the notes at a glance and fix any inaccuracies. 

Benefits of taking notes 
As already mentioned, note taking is a crucial factor that can improve learning outcomes. Here is how it benefits students. 

  • Meticulous note-taking skills improve comprehending abilities. 
  • This habit also enhances focus and makes students pay attention to details. 
  • Taking notes also helps in retention of knowledge and information, especially helpful during competitions and exams. 

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