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

South counselor offers note-taking tips

By Britni Schneider/reporter

Students who find themselves daydreaming in class and losing track of the main idea of a lecture should turn to a South Campus counselor’s advice for effective note taking.

Steve Rakoff gave a tutorial Sept. 25 on the Cornell note-taking system while also emphasizing the purpose of note-taking and listening skills.

“ The two most important factors in college success are motivation and organization,” he said.

The purpose of note taking, Rakoff said, is to store the information until the student has time to learn it.

“ It also forces the listener to pay attention and helps comprehension by rephrasing and condensing the important information,” he said.

The Cornell note-taking system is a way to gather information easily. Notes should include a recall section, which summarizes that page of notes. Then the “5 R’s” should be used: recording, reducing, recitation, reflection and review.

Reduction will cut the information down to the key terms and concepts, Rakoff said. Reflection gives the student a chance to think about how this new information relates to the information he or she already knows.

The notes should be reviewed as soon as possible because “60 percent of what is heard in a lecture will be forgotten in one hour,” he said.

Finally, the student should reflect on the information. Rakoff advises doing a complete review of the notes several times a week.

Developing listening skills is also necessary.

“ You must have an open mind, positive expectations and focus on the message,” he said.

Rakoff told the group about a former student who consistently failed classes.

“ After trying this method of note taking, the student began to improve significantly and noticed that class was going by much faster,” he said.

Rakoff’s final advice was to have fun with school and find a system that works for the individual.

“ I want students to get organized with school work and have an effective way of taking notes,” he said.

“With the right system, you can be successful in college and in everyday life.”

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