Rock Your Notes; A Beginners Guide to Note-taking

Young students who have just entered a college almost never pack an art of note taking when they attend their first lecture. Studies show that almost 40% of listeners fail to put down an important or consistent summary. This leads to forgetting the material altogether. 

The drawback is missing out on significant items for the term papers and turning in written assignments that significantly stay clear from the requirements. 

With disregard to the proficiency of the topic, taking college notes is crucial to any follow-ups and activities. Moreover, it facilitates the process of getting ready for tests and exams. Sometimes, the test is based on the data provided only in class. 

Tips to Develop Note-taking

Use Highlights to Activate Your Brain

Visualizing activates different types of memory and your study methods become more effective. Highlighting draws the attention to what’s on the paper. Draw a flow and create an outline. If you miss the beginning of the new subtopic and put it as a bullet point, then further you can highlight the subtopics in the same color so you will know when the new stage of the discourse begins. 

Timeline for Events in Order

The lectures on the history of anything generally present the data in a form of the time flow of the events. This is a solid clue on how to follow what you hear. Prepare to draw a timeline of the events in your notebook. The focus here should be on the events presented in the classroom. Meaning that it’s better to draw a vertical flow to the left of your notebook leaving enough space on the right for the peculiarities of the events that might not be accessible elsewhere.

Mind Maps

This is a helpful tool that has found its way in most workplaces today. It helps to study too. Use the free online websites that allow creating the mind maps. With a little practice, you will develop this key skill that will aid you throughout the career. Start with placing the core of the map in the very center of the page and spread the items sideways. A mind map is a very flexible scheme of relations, interactions, and organization of notions

Graphic Organizer

Use easy hand-drawn graphs, pie charts, and schemes. Copy them from the tutor’s presentation. Don’t worry if they are not perfect at the beginning. As you train visualizing skills, you will improve note-taking strategies.

Journey Methods and Prompts

If you are engaged in a repeated daily activity, like commuting on the bus or train, cycling or running, connect the things you see daily by tying them to the facts you’ve learned recently. 


Put a name of the object of studies on the card then put prompts about the object on the reverse side of it. Draw a small doodle as a cue for efficient memorizing. 

If you are not into writing, at first, the recorder will help. But it may never plant a seed if you don’t write it down. The professors also provide additional materials from the lecture to the emails of attendants. Some even send the materials on the eve of a lecture or event. Whatever the case, these Tuesday Tips will help you excel! Remember that you heard it from GradGuard first.


Susan Wallace is an expert writer. She is passionate about both writing and education. She has been able to assist students and businessmen develop their writing skills both academically and professionally.