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 tips discussed on TR

By Shelli Carter/reporter

Students go to class and listen to lectures every day, but some learned proper techniques for note taking during an Oct. 1 Trinity River Campus seminar.

Student Star Chism attended “to make better grades” while Victor Bedolla said he wanted “to be more effective in school.”

Margarita Garza, academic success center coordinator, began the session by asking the students to evaluate their present note-taking strategies.

The students worked in groups to comprise lists. Their responses included attempting to write down everything a teacher says, using bullet points, writing in shorthand, summarizing chapters, using keywords and highlighting main points.

She then asked the students five questions about their note taking: Do you use complete sentences? Do you have a special form of note taking? Are your notes clear? Did you capture the main points and all the subpoints? Did you streamline using abbreviation or short cuts?

Then Garza asked the students to tally their answers.

“If any of you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, you may need to develop some note-taking skills,” she said.

Garza said students should use these five questions to better their own note taking and try to find better habits and strategies.

She then asked the students if they knew why she put them in groups.

“If you sat there and just answered on your own, you are not learning from what the other people do,” she said. “If someone over here might be doing it one way you didn’t know about, it may trigger something that helps you do a better job at note taking.”

Working in groups for school, homework and studying can help some people learn different strategies. Garza said each person could get a different understanding and perhaps learn something that one might have missed.

“Why is effective note taking important?” she asked.

The groups put their heads together to come up with ideas. The majority said they attended the seminar because their instructor recommended it to help them with their history course.

“It saves time, gives a chapter summary and is a good study resource. You understand it better ’cause you wrote it,” student Kurtine Bolden said.

Garza said effective note taking provides several benefits.

“It triggers basic lecture process and how you remember information, helps you to concentrate in class and helps you prepare for tests,” she said. “Notes are often a source of value and a clue to what your instructors think is most important.”

Along with good note-taking strategies, Garza said students need a good system of organization for classes, such as dividers with pockets, three-ring binders and spiral notebooks. She said students should use their syllabus and class calendar because if they get ahead or lag behind the syllabus, it will be in their notes.

“You need to use the rule 10-24-7 to review your notes: 10 minutes after class, 24 hours after class and seven days later,” she said.

“You should be able to break it down from your main topic to your sub-topics and have a note card for each sub-topic.”

Garza told the students to ask themselves the questions from their note cards and to write practice essays before a test to help them remember.

“Both of these are time-consuming,” she said. “But these are the most effective tools to use.”

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian