15 Best Ways To Take Notes In College (FAQs) | 2022

Taking notes in class is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a college student. It can improve your memory and help you study better.

However, no matter how many notes you take, you will still struggle in class if you don’t know how to take notes effectively. Thus, read on to find out some notetaking tips to enable you to achieve this effect.

What is Note Taking?

Taking notes is the process of documenting data gathered through a variety of mediums. The writer’s mind is relieved of the burden of remembering every detail thanks to careful note-taking.

When you make notes, you evaluate, combine, and synthesize the concepts you hear or read, but when you take notes, you jot down the main elements of what you hear or read.

15 Best Ways To Take Notes In College

1. Sit at the Front of the Class:

Several students seem to dislike sitting at the front of the class.

However, the front desks are undoubtedly the best places to sit in class. Sitting at the front of the class enhances your concentration levels, allowing you to take good notes accordingly.

2. Choose the most effective strategy:

You can take notes in class using either pen and paper or a digital writing device.

However, as a college student, you must decide the note-taking strategy that works best for you, your reading pattern, and the courses you are offering for the year.

Although you will write faster with a pen, a pen and paper notetaking technique may not be ideal for some classes that require the visual representation of facts.

However, you must understand that you will likely recollect information written by hand far better than the ones you type.

3. Break down your notes into bits: 

Keeping your notes short is an ideal decision. It prevents the notes from being too bulky, making it easier for you to study for an exam or test.

So, to reduce the volume of notes you take, always jot down only fresh and vital ideas you don’t know. However, ensure that you jot down extra pieces of information that your lecturer adds to the main course material.

4. Write carefully:

If you desire to write down your note on paper, ensure that you read what you are writing. However, write your notes carefully so it will be easy to read the information when you are studying the notes much later.

5. Organize yourself properly:

Writing your notes in an organized manner is an ideal decision.

It does not matter whether you are writing the note by hand or typing it into a laptop, ensure that you don’t mix up sub-topics when writing and that you have all your notes for the day taken together.

Moreover, if you are writing your notes by hand, ensure you have a notebook dedicated to a particular subject. If you’re taking notes on a PC, make sure you have a folder or Word document for each subject.

6. Avoid getting yourself distracted:

Whenever you are writing notes in class, try not to multitask or involve yourself in any other activity, Multitasking will distract you, leaving you lost halfway through the class.

It is even understood that switching from one task to another reduces the efficiency of the brain.

Thus, whenever you take notes, avoid social media at all costs, don’t check your mail, and don’t even peep at your colleagues sitting in the same classroom.

7. Be prepared:

Preparing your notetaking materials on the day of the class is a terrible idea. It may leave you disorganized and prevent you from obtaining the necessary information.

Thus, ensure your notetaking materials are in place at least three days before the class. Moreover, if you want to take notes using a computer, please ensure that it is fully charged.

8. Use Abbreviations:

Using abbreviations that you know when taking notes is a smart idea. It is time-saving and enhances your retentive abilities.

However, you don’t need to write everything in full when taking notes. For instance, “Centre of Excellence” can make for “Cen. of Exce.”

You can also apply the same tips to technical terms to enhance your note-taking efficiency.

9. Think While You write:

While writing down notes, ensure that you engage your brain. Think about what your professors say and try to decipher the essential points before jotting them down.

However, always take down every definition, especially if it’s something that is not in the course material.

10. Highlight important points:

No matter how much you try to take down a reduced volume of notes, you can take too many notes.

In such circumstances, use a marker to highlight or underline the important points to help you find them quickly while studying.

Best Ways To Take Notes In College

11. Take note of the sources:

When taking notes in class, ensure that you write down the helpful study sources your teacher mentions. These materials will be helpful when you are studying.

12. Number your pages:

Numbering your pages is an ideal decision for anyone that takes notes down by hand. It will help you locate subject areas while reading, making your study smooth.

13. Write down questions:

You can enhance your brain’s performance when writing down notes by jotting down questions as they come into your mind.

Since some lecturers do not entertain questions until the end of lectures, writing down the questions you want to ask will prevent you from forgetting them.

It is also an amazing way to keep yourself occupied in class, and you will even have an excuse to see your lecturers in their offices after their classes.

After all, going to your professors’ offices will help them remember you and improve your relationship with them.

14. Utilize Notetaking Apps:

There are several digital apps that you can use to take notes effectively. So, if you love to take notes using a PC or tablet, Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, and Milanote are highly recommended.

15. Examine Your Notes:

Don’t dump your notes once you finish taking them down in class. However, always review your messages occasionally to refresh your memory.

Read more:

Tips for excelling in College

Taking good notes in class is one of the many secrets to academic excellence in college. However, you can further enhance your academic performance in school by applying the following tips:

Become friends with your lecturers:

Establishing a good relationship with your lecturers is an act every college student should strive to do.

It does not matter if you like them; your lecturers are essential to your academic and personal development.

You can become friends with your lecturers if you attend their classes regularly, ask and answer questions in them, and perform well on their assignments, tests, and exams.

Being a friend to your lecturer will allow you to consult them in their offices whenever you desire. They can also act as referees when you apply for an internship or scholarship.

Study in a group:

Studying in a group with your classmates is cool. No matter how down you may feel, you will always be inspired to read when your reading partners come to you.

Also, studying in a group with your classmates will remind you of vital information you did not take down in your notes during classes.

You will also have the chance to get more information about things you didn’t understand in class.

Read every day:

No matter how many extracurricular activities you enjoy in college, always prioritize your studies by studying for at least three hours per day on weekdays and more than six hours on weekends.

If you keep a good GPA in school, you’ll be in the best position to get scholarships and internships.

Avoid cramming: 

Cramming your notes for an exam or test is a terrible decision. Cramming only facilitates memory loss, which can be consequential if you are in the examination or test hall.

Leverage the power of the internet:

The internet is arguably the best thing that has ever happened to man. However, it would not have that much impact on you if you did not take advantage of it.

Thus, always utilize the internet when studying to facilitate your learning, especially when the information provided in class is not sufficient.

Also, subscribe to several professional groups to update the latest industry trends.

Frequently Asked Questions on Best Way To Take Notes In College

Is taking notes important in college?

Taking notes is an excellent study habit since it requires you to pay close attention and aids with concentration. You can improve your education by doing so. Listening attentively and writing down your thoughts on what you heard have been demonstrated to improve comprehension and retention in studies of learning.

Is it better to take notes on paper or computer in college?

Studies have shown that taking notes by hand improves retention more than entering them onto a computer. This has been shown in a variety of studies, from those that looked at memory in general to those that looked at note-taking strategies in the classroom.

What is the most effective note-taking method?

The outline method of taking notes is one of the most natural and straightforward approaches to notetaking. The outline approach, as the name implies, converts notes into a hierarchy of information, creating a logical flow of text on the page and keeping it well organized. Using an outline, you can jot down notes manually or type them into a computer.

What is important to keep in mind while taking notes?

Get into the habit of writing down key formulas, definitions, and facts so that when you go back over them, your brain will automatically be more attentive to the subject matter. Avoid filling your notes with redundant material by instead creating connections between concepts that will help you save time while reviewing.


Taking notes in class is one of the best things you can do for yourself as a student. However, the notes you take in class can only help if you do so effectively.

Although this article contains some tips to help you achieve this, apply the success tips listed above to guarantee your academic success at university.

Awesome one; I hope this article answered your question.

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ST Admin
ST Admin

Hello, I am ST Admin! For five years, I began actively assisting students in Europe, the United States, and Canada in their pursuit of college advice and scholarship prospects. I am the Administrator of www.schoolandtravel.com at present.

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