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You Need to Improve Your Class Notes - Here's How

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It’s no secret that to be successful in college you have to take great notes during class. These school hacks will help you understand the material while you are studying for college.

Whether you’re a senior and are looking for new ways to memorize material or you’re just starting, you’ll want to do well in your classes. Here are 5 ways you can take class notes.

Get Organized

    It’s no secret that you need to be organized to take the best notes. Have different notebooks for each class, tabs in a notebook, or different colored pens for different topics of content. If you prefer to use your laptop for taking notes, make sure to have different folders for classes, always labeling the notes with the date and topic of the lecture. If you’re taking notes on a laptop, you will also have the ability to link outside sources to your notes. 

    Review Material Before your Class

      When you read the material before your class, you’ll be able to identify what the main ideas will be. Knowing what to focus on is important because you’ll be able to target your notes toward what you will most likely be tested on. This also helps you prepare relevant questions to better clarify the material and what you should be studying.

      Be Mindful

        It can be difficult to decide what is important to write in your notes and what is not. Listen to the overarching themes. You don’t have to write everything the professor says. While you’re in class, write down the bigger concepts that the professor is trying to convey. This will help you clarify what the professor wants you to know for the test. Also, write down names and dates. These are easier to go back to and study at a later time.

        Write Notes You Understand

          Everybody learns differently. Some people benefit from shorter, bulleted lists of information while it is easier for some people to draw on their notes to make them more visual. The Cornell Method utilizes a sheet of paper divided into three sections. The first section is keywords and ideas, the second column is class notes. The third column is summarizing the main ideas.

          For the more creative thinkers, mind mapping may be a better way to take notes. You start by writing the main idea in the center, then write your notes around the main idea. You then use lines to connect the notes to other notes and the main idea.

          Review Notes After Class

            Studies show that when you have the best retention rate when you study your notes within 24 hours after taking them. Teaching someone else what you learned can also help solidify what you learned, as you will have to have a solid understanding of the material to simplify it in a way that you can explain it to someone who wasn’t there.

            With these tips, studying for college will be a breeze. If you’re looking for more college tips, check out our main page here.


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