Brescia | Student Life Centre Blog

Helpful Tips For Making Class Notes


When you are going through your textbook at home, do you often write down every single thing you read? Or when you are in class, do you write down every single thing your professor says? It’s difficult for some to learn how to properly summarize information, and we want to give you some hints on how to properly make notes so you are already off to a great start this semester!

When you read a powerpoint or textbook, do not highlight every single word, even if you think everything sounds important. Often at the beginning of a presentation, or chapter in a textbook, there are ‘checkpoints’ that describe what is most important to the reading or presentation. Your goal is to then take note of what is relevant to the course using this tool. Use different color highlighters and pens for different points, such as yellow for exam information and orange for definitions. Do not skim through minor points, but read everything once carefully just in case you miss something. That being said however, when you go to study, spend more time reading over your personal notes as they contain the most relevant points you should memorize.

Often times during lectures, you may not have enough time to fully process what your professor is saying to write down the major points. An effective way to solve this is to find time after your lecture, typically on the same day, to go over your lecture notes and rewrite the major points. Studies show that you retain more information when you write notes by hand than typing! If you wish to record the lecture, make sure to ask the professor for permission first.

Read ahead! Many classes have a textbook and the professors will teach the class through a powerpoint. Make sure to read the textbook ahead of class and take notes during class. After class, make notes on the textbook and class notes. That way, you can make sure you have the best notes possible, and also retain the most amount of information. By starting early, you’ll have plenty of time to study for the exam.

Need help on effectively reading a textbook?