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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Here is a Tutorial on how to take notes in class

This piece is for those hapless students for who are unable to take decent notes during lectures. Since I am a self-acclaimed master in taking notes (people have been borrowing, photo copying, and taking photos of my notes and sharing them online for years) I decided to share my special ability with you. Here are the things you need to do to be able to take good notes:

  • First, develop a decent, readable handwriting. It doesn't need to be artistic or beautiful. It just needs to be readable so that people can read it easily and don't confuse between things like "alpha" and "infinity" notations.
  • Next, try to sit as near to the lecturer as possible so as to catch every word spoken
  • Concentrate hard to catch every word being spoken. Unless you are able to write and discern or understand whatever is being told simultaneously, avoid trying to understand and just concentrate on picking up the words only. So don't mind if people comment on why you have written down a poor joke told by the speaker while lecturing. And if you do have the mental capacity to filter out the crap and write down whatever is being spoken in a concise form, then congratulations- you have the natural talent for taking notes. 
  •  Since catching every word is necessary, don't be late to a lecture.
  • Be sincere enough to never miss a lecture, or else you will have a gap in your notes
  • No need to use various coloured pens or pencils to emphasize certain points in your notes. Just develop your own set of notations for that. (I box important formulae and use arrow heads for points)
  • Avoid sitting with gossiping friends because their gossip is bound to distract you. (The news of which guy is going out with which girl ca wait till the end of the lecture)
I understand its very difficult to be so sincere as to attend every lecture on time, but I have seen a lot of people who do attend every lecture but are still not able to take good notes. I hope this tutorial is going to help them.

NOTE: Taking good notes does not assure you good grades. For good grades either you have to be extremely hard working, or extremely talented or do something else (to learn about these thing you have to approach someone else because I don't have much experience in these mundane things)

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