Get the Powers to Act from Fresh Ideas



May 20, 2013

Taking Notes

"How to Be a High School Superstar," by Cal Newport, 2010.


Make good notes to save time and effort later.
1. For non-Math subjects, order your notes like:
Question ---> Evidence, Raw Facts---> Conclusion
Thus, you imbue the middle section with meaning and motivation.

2. For Math-related subjects, order your notes like:
Problem --->  Steps for algorithm, explanations---> Answer, Solution
Again, you imbue the middle section with meaning and motivation.

Note-taking during Class: "Secrets of Getting Better Grades," by Brian Marshall, 2002, 2nd edition.

  1. Leave some thinking space.
  2. Organize:
    1. Outline. Use sub-headings etc.
    2. Use mind maps.
    3. Use circles, arrows, blocks, etc..
    4. Use numbering.
    5. Use colors.
  3. Capture the essence. Listen for word clues, emphasis, repetitions, what's written on the board.

Taking Notes during Class: "Ace Any Test," by Ron Fry, 2000, 4th edition.

  1. Select:
    1. What is unknown to you?
    2. What the teacher emphasized.
    3. Explanations
    4. Examples and demonstrations.
  2. Summarize.
  3. Sort: relationships between the points.

Taking Lecture Notes: "Study Smarter, Not Harder," by Kevin Paul, 2009, 3rd edition.

  1. Key words, in your own words.
  2. Key patterns
  3. Diagrams, graphs.
  4. Flexible, non-linear arrows to link points.
  5. Spaces to fill later: With what you might have missed, With our own insights, etc.

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