I had been asked by a few people what system I use to take uni notes, and as you can see from my previous post I prefer a paper based mode.
This is my system, it is not perfect, it is a lot of doubling up but it works for me.
The first step of my process consist of printing lecture notes. I like printing the PowerPoint slides/pdf files provided. I tend to print them 9 to a page – cost effective and still easy to read. I find that if you print them landscape you have a bit more room to annotate during the lecture. Even if the lecture is external or I’m listening online I still do this, as I highlight and scribble quick notes besides the relevant slide.
Next step is to go and attempt to read the relevant chapter or readings. I can’t guarantee that I do this every single week. I start off motivated, but motivation often hits a certain level and you don’t do anything but the bare minimum to scrape by (now you are living the true uni student lifestyle). I like to make notes by either highlighting the textbook or just jotting down relevant phrases from the readings.
I then in an ideal world sit and combine my notes from the readings and lecture slides into ‘topic summaries’. I usually do this on my computer, about a page worth of bullet points that lists the key concepts of the topic. Depending on your unit you can work through the learning objectives (either listed in your unit outline or in the lecture slides) to ensure that you have covered the right key concepts of the chapters. The trick is, if its not in the learning objectives they can’t examine you on it.
Now this process may seem annoying and doubling up, but trust me if you have a content heavy subject you will be cheering when it comes to exam time as you will have a good solid basis of a framework to cram for your exam.
The trick is to do a lot of prep work throughout the semester, as your notes will come in handy when it comes to exam season.
Hope that helps a few of you entering into the university world. 🙂