Please Take Note

Learning Skills Centre Jo G Holmesglen Staff • 15 March 2021
"Student" by UGL_UIUC is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

To be an effective student, it's worth investing in improving your study skills. Spend the time doing this & soon you will save time.

Note-taking is one of the most useful skills you can develop. 

Why take notes?

  • To transfer information from short-term to long-term memory
  • To reduce large amounts of information into memorable chunks
  • To use as a summary
  • To promote deeper understanding of content
  • Note-taking is an individual skill. What works for you may not work for someone else. It may depend on what type of learner you are. The important thing is to develop your own note-taking style and then use it.

How to take notes:

Here are some ideas to get you started. 

  • Do not write full sentences
  • Leave out small words (articles and conjunctions…the, a, an, and…)
  • Use visual cues: e.g different colours for different topics, highlight important information, underline
  • Develop special symbols for course-specific content or words e.g. pt - patient
  • Use bullet points
  • Use abbreviations to reduce words & sentences. Think of the words u use in txt msgs -  they might give u some idea. Otherwise here are a few common abbreviations:

          b/c                                                              because                     

          w/                                                                with

          ppl                                                               people

           ↑                                                                 increase/more

           ↓                                                                 decrease/less

         b/w                                                               between

           ‹                                                                 less than

           ›                                                                 greater than

          &                                                                 and

        b/4                                                                before

          g                                                                 endings in ‘ing’   study’g

          n                                                                 endings in ation/tion/ion e.g.  concentr’n


More of a visual learner? Mind-mapping may work for you. 

Click here for some ideas:

If you would like more information on your note-taking skills, bring a sample along to a Learning Skills teacher and we will give feedback.…

Maybe you have some abbreviations you use and could add to this list?

Let me know in comments.