15 Sep 2015

Note-Taking: An Underrated Skill

Article on - Note-Taking: An Underrated Skill

Note-taking during lessons is a skill much overlooked and underrated today. How many classmates do you actually notice diligently noting down key points or hints mentioned by the lecturer? Or how many students still bring their favourite notebooks, colourful pens and highlighter sets to class? Less than a half the class, perhaps.

Instead, many students prefer to simply capture pictures of the important slides or even record the whole lecture on their phones – all the while overlooking the importance of actual note-taking.

In reality, note-taking is an effective and highly valuable skill that can even be effective in the working world where important meetings are a frequent occurrence and there’s much more information to remember.

In addition to that, we have also identified a few key reasons why this underrated skill can be useful in your studies:
It Helps Identify Key Points

During lessons, lecturers always verbally explain concepts beyond the textual information and sometimes, these could include hints or key information to take note of.

As such, note-taking involves more than just penning down what is being said. It involves listening carefully for key information or hints that slip in, picking them out from a chunk of verbal information, and then organising this information into short points for easy reference during revisions. Whereas merely taking a snapshot of the slide only allows you to refer to only what’s shown.
It Helps Clarify Doubts

When you’re writing down notes, your mind will be actively processing the information that you’re penning down. Instead of passively sitting down and passively listening, you are actively involving yourself in the lesson.

This allows you to discover concepts that you require clarification on as soon as possible. Instead of waiting for revision period to find out that there’s something that you don’t understand, you will be able to notice things that don’t make sense to you in the moment when you’re taking down notes. This will ensure that you have sufficient time to clarify your doubts, allowing you to check with your educator early on.
It Helps Jog Your Memory

Well-written and well-organised notes make great study aids. In fact, these notes can be way more useful than textbooks. Furthermore, taking down examples of concepts shared by the lecturer as well as forming your own examples helps you better understand the concepts during revision.

For instance, while revising your notes, having an example demonstrated by your lecturer noted down will help you recall the actual demonstration during the lesson - thus jogging your memory and further broadening your understanding of the concepts!
Ultimately, note-taking is skill never to be underestimated. When well-practiced, it will certainly come in handy during long lectures (and during meetings in the future too!).