ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Take Effective Notes in Class

Updated on September 24, 2010
Learn to be a great note taker
Learn to be a great note taker

Whether you are in high-school or in college effective note taking is a skill that imperative to do well on homework assignments, pop quizzes, midterms and tests. While your text book often contains the bulk of the knowledge your teacher is instilling in you, there are always those little bits of information that are exclusive to the class room that unless you write down, you will lose. Writing or taking good notes does not always have to be a headache, with a few easy tips; you can have top notch notes. Another good reason to learn to take effective notes is in college you can occasionally get extra credit in class for being the teacher note taker, all the more reason to ramp up your note taking skills.

  • Step 1

Never write down everything that you read or hear, instead try to make yourself aware and attentive to the main points. Concentrate on the "meat" of the subject and forget the trimmings so to speak

  • Step 2

Notes should mainly consist of key words, or very short sentences. This is especially important for those students who have a fast speaker. Most fast speaker tend to side-tracked so that you can go back and add further information.

  • Step 3

Take accurate notes don’t guess on what you heard, if you didn’t hear something raise your hand and ask for them to repeat it. You should usually try to use your own words this increases your overall understanding of the material, but try not to change the meaning. If you quote directly from the author, quote correctly.

  •  Step 4

Think a minute about your material before you start making notes. Don’t take notes just to be taking notes to do this is to be self defeatist, unplanned notes are often hard to understand a few hours after you have written them. Take notes that will be of real value to you when you look over them later.

  •  Step 5

Have a uniform system of punctuation and abbreviation that will make sense to you. Use a skeleton outline, and show importance by indenting. Leave lots of white space for later additions/revisions.

  • Step 6

Omit descriptions and full explanations where ever you can. If you feel it is necessary to write a longer than normal tid-bit, do it after wards. Keep your notes short and to the point. Condense your material so you can grasp it rapidly.

  •  Step 7

Don’t worry about missing a point. Leave space and try to pick up the material you miss at a later date, either through reading, questioning, or common sense.

  • Step 8

Don’t keep notes on oddly shaped pieces of paper. Keep notes in order and in one place. Always date your notes, this way if you are preparing for a test for chapter 23 you can refer to your syllabus and find out when you guys were on that chapter and find it faster. Always indicate the chapter you are studying along with that chapters title.

  • Step 9

Shortly after making your notes, go back and rework (not recopy!) your notes by adding extra points, spelling out unclear items, etc.. Remember, we forget quickly. Budget time for this vital step just as you do for the class itself


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Very good advice. Organization and consistency are very important when taking notes.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)