Do you have a habit of taking notes during a class or seminar?
Not all of them have an inclination to take notes of a class.
Those who learn to take notes of the class will find it easy to read the subject than those who directly read from a textbook.
Some students are reluctant to the idea of taking class notes. They may feel it is an unnecessary disturbance while listening to the lecture.
But the reality is one cannot remember the whole lecture after a few weeks or months?
So if a student attends classes daily, then it is impossible to remember all the lectures without the help of notes?
Hence as one move to higher education, they understand the importance of taking notes in class.
Benefits of Taking Notes
1. Enhanced Attention in the class: Taking lecture notes is a technique to keep oneself interested and concentrated in the class for long. One might have noticed that after the lecture begins, the interest and attention towards the lecture declines slowly within the first 10 min. or so. Taking notes helps one stay attentive in class for a long time.
2. The way of understanding is easier. Because everyone has a style, in understanding the topic or subject. This, if written during listening to the class, it becomes easier to understand and revise again. When you refer two or more textbooks you will notice that each author has described the topic in his own style but the conclusions are similar. This is because everyone has his or her won style of understanding a topic and since it is written in your notes,
3. Quick to revise: As it is your handwriting and diagram, it becomes easier to remember the topic heard before. So the revision of the syllabus before exams gets faster.
4. Better understanding: Since any diagram, derivation, formulas told by teachers are written in your notes, it becomes easier for you to understand the topic as you are drawing or entering the steps involved in derivation yourself one by one.
Even you may get doubts at the point of entry into the notes and you may clarify your self from the teacher.
5. The likeness to the topic: Since it is your handwriting and notes, there will be a feeling of likeness to the topic than that which you didn’t write and need to read from a textbook.
6. Better memory: Some do not take notes while some reject the idea of taking notes saying that it is better to concentrate on teaching than writing as there are chances of disturbance during a lecture with an internal to take note. This may be true to a certain extent but whatever we hear maybe not remembered for long. Since we hear many classes daily during school or college, it is highly impossible to remember them all. So its is better to take a note of class as this will make it easy to remember the lecture when one desires to study from the class note.
7. All the topics of the subject in one place: The teacher teaches topics of a subject from different textbooks and references based on the authenticity of the information. It will be tough to keep so many books for reference in preparing for the entire subject. Having notes of all the teachings by the teacher helps you keep informed of all the topics from different references in one place. This helps you minimize the time in search of the required books and helps study faster.
8. Easy recollection in the exam: Have you ever noticed in the exam hall when a question is taken up to answer, your mind remember the page where you read it from including any pictures there. Writing your notes has a memory of a similar kind and hence your memory of the topic is stronger for a longer period. Making it easy for you to answer the question in the exam.
Thus due to so many benefits of taking notes, currently you have note-taking apps and software. It is even easier for digital note-taking on laptop than on the paper book.
How to take notes in class? Tips for all the subjects
- Write the topic (chapter name) as heading for any class.
- Include the date of the class taken.
- If you have more than one teacher for a subject then also note the teacher’s name who covers the topic or chapter.
- Have separate notebooks for each subject. For each teacher start from a different side of the notes, i.e. from the backside, the front side of notes, etc.
- Always maintain continuity of classes by taking notes immediately after the previous class in the same notebook. If you just take notes of all chapters or subjects in notes, it will create confusion to sort out the specific class notes latter. So use separate notebooks for each class.
- If you find any doubts or did not understand any line or concept, immediately mark the point in the notes to clarify form your teacher at the end of the class or from friends latter
- Preferably use a notebook with unruled (plain) pages and a ballpoint pen to write. Using a pencil for diagrams will be ok and label diagrams with a pen.
- Try to sit in the first row of benches for a better vision of the chalkboard or interactive board used by the teacher. Further teacher voice will be clearly audible there.
How to take notes for Physics: In physics, one frequently encounters concepts like units of expression, principles, derivation, diagrams, formulas in almost every chapter of the topic. So while taking notes give preference to these.
- Units of expression are to be mentioned as per the topic.
- Mention the names of the scientist responsible for the principle like “newton” inertia, Kepler orbits around the sun, etc.
- While writing principles be careful with the terms used. Principles are so fine-tuned that missing a word can make the entire principle non-sense.
Ex: In STP (Standard temperature and pressure) Temperature is 273k while pressure is one atmospheric pressure. If you miss the word one writing the principle, it makes no sense.
- Taking diagrams is very vital to understand a concept. In drawing try to take every small inclusion in a diagram like angles, degrees, arrow marks, pointers, etc.
- In derivation try to take every step of derivation in a separate line. Also, give numbers to each line (step) of the derivation.
- Use diagrams and formulas in derivations if any for better understanding.
- Problems: solving problems in physics requires one to understand the question properly. Then applying simple principles with formulas helps solve the problem.
Imagination will be key to solving the problem.
How to take notes for chemistry
Chemistry is vast with diverse branches like organic, inorganic, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, etc. Chemistry subjects evolve greatly as one goes for higher studies.
Tips to take notes for chemistry is as
- For any topic write the principle involved, reaction, formulas, etc.
- Take any diagrams involved like a salt bridge or kiln of cement manufacture etc.
- You will find a series of elements or compounds for every topic, so note down the special properties of those group elements or compounds.
- Solve problems when explained by the teacher.
For general chemistry
1) Always note down the scientist’s name mentioned as a discoverer of the concept or a compound etc.
2) Note the type of reaction (acid-base, oxidoreducto type, complexation, etc.
3) Be clear with principles like the atomic number, atomic weight, morality, normality, etc.
4) Note down properties of individual molecules like NaOH, H2So4 sort of.
For Organic chemistry
1) Note down the type or class of compound you are listening to. With its Nomenclature (standard name).
2) Note down the molecular structure for the class of compounds. The following compounds will have a structure similar to lead molecule or basic moiety.
3) Write the possible reactions of the class of compounds with acids, bases, heavy metals, etc.
4) Note uses of the said class of compounds.
For analytical chemistry
- Note down the name of the analytical techniques.
- Its principle of how a compound is analyzed
- Requirements of the procedure.
- Types of compounds that can be analyzed by the technique.
- Formulas used and units to represent the data arrived by the technique.
- Any graphs needed in the analysis.
- Note down the type of chapter you are listening to like algebra, trigonometry, etc.
- Write all the possible formulas with diagram representation or tables for the said chapter. Using these formulas one may need to solve the formulas of the chapter.
- Note down the theorems with the name of the person who discovered it.
- Solve problems as guided by the teacher in your notes.
- Problems will be first simple and more typical and complex as you move one so write them one below the other.
Anatomy is a bit hard subject as one needs to remember a lot of subjects along with some Greek evolved terminology. Since it is a vast subject which requires memorization for better performance, one need
- Draw the diagrams of the anatomical regions with proper labeling of parts for better memory.
- Write down below the diagram an explanation of the said anatomical part.
- Its functions and uses to the body and physiology.
- In some concepts like hormones, CNS function, one can make a table for the effect of each hormone, its origin, function, etc. If CAN, part of CNS and its innervations to the different body regions and functions.
- Note down the name of the scientist involved in the discovery etc.
Biology includes both plants and animals. It is very vast with many concepts to memorize. It also diversifies as microbiology, biotechnology, etc.
- Note down the evolution paths like chordates, invertebrates, vertebrates, etc. in zoology.
- For botany the classification or taxonomy is vital to remember as any future studies of plants will involve mentioning the family, species, etc.
- Note the region or location of where the organism or plant is found.
- Any uses from the animal or plant, their anatomical differences
- How they survive, protect them, mode of reproduction, etc.
- Concepts of hybridization, breeding can be easily understood by diagrams.
For microbiology, biotechnology: These subjects are biology-related with applications for humans.
- Note the concepts first like immunology, fermentation, sterilization, diagnosis, etc.
- For the study of microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, etc. you need to note down, class of evolution, their shapes, types, body structure with diagram, and uses of those structures for the organism.
- In application-based concepts like immunology, fermentation, sterilization, note the principle, requirements, application and uses of the concepts.