The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Note-taking skill essential for student success

By Rema Atiya/reporter

Listening, recording and retaining are three key elements that can get students on the A track in class when taking notes, a SE Campus psychology instructor told students last week.

Susan Cruise presented Help! My Notes Are a Joke! Aug. 31 as part of the SE Campus Fall Learning Skills Week.

When it comes to taking notes, many people do not really know a good method of sufficient note taking or do not care to learn, Cruise said.

“Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best,” she said, quoting psychiatrist and author Theodore Rubin.

Cruise said Rubin’s comment means that to get what they want out of something, people have to put effort into it.

When it comes to taking notes, it does take effort to acquire the results a person wants to get out of note taking, she said.

Taking notes is essential to a college student trying to make good grades in any class that he or she is taking, Cruise said. Offering the audience tips on how to make their notes better for themselves in the long run, she said successful listening plays a major part in note taking. 

“One thing that distracts professors and students the most is cellular phones,” she said.

“Students like to text during class, and some students forget to turn their ringer off. And when it goes off, it distracts not only the professor but the entire classroom.”

If students cannot listen successfully because of listening distractions such as texting on a cell phone while in class, their notes will have gaps in them and will not be as good as those written by someone listening without distractions. Not having distractions is something to aim for while taking notes, but having an efficient method also would improve a person’s note taking, Cruise said.

“Living in Canada when I was younger and going to small schools with small classrooms then going to college and it being a much bigger school with more people, I had to learn to take notes quick and in a method I could understand,” she said.

Cruise said the trick to faster note taking is to abbreviate words so one can understand them without writing the full words. She said students should ask questions, make mental pictures of notes and not cram information.

Students should also re-read notes once each day and make a pre-test from their notes to test themselves to see how much they actually know.

“Reading over your notes 10 to 15 minutes a day will help in remembering information in the long term,” she said.

Cruise said listening, recording and retaining are actually part of the note-taking process.

Note taking does not stop at the classroom door when a student exits but continues outside the classroom to get the full listening, recording and retaining aspect of the note-taking process, she said.

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