Highlighters

The Note Taking #KeysToSuccess

One major #KeytoSuccess in school and beyond is taking effective notes. Sounds like a simple task, right? Wrong. Oftentimes our teachers and professors speak too quickly, making it a challenge to take down everything they’re saying. Other times they provide us with information that is actually unnecessary for the purpose of succeeding in the course but we write it down anyway. So, how do we strike the perfect balance between writing down everything and writing down nothing at all? This blog post will let you know how to beat this common pitfall and help you learn much more about effective note taking! Here’s to crushing school with TMG (again)!

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  1. The Beginning Stages

Every note is the opportunity for a new, beautiful beginning. Each page is the chance to perfect your skills while simultaneously making the page dazzle with new information. Step one to taking effective notes is to start off every note on a new page with the date and page number. Keeping track of your notes via the date will help you know the chronological order of course content so that when it comes time for that test you know exactly where to look for the material.

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2. Highlight, highlight, highlight

The best thing to highlight first on your page is the title of your note. Doing so signals to you what the subject of the note is and helps you to begin to organize the other information on the page. By writing down and highlighting the title of your note you will get a sense of what information you should and should not include on the rest of your page, you will begin to ask yourself: is this information relevant to the subject’s title? Pro tip: don’t think that the only thing you should highlight is the title—key terms, relevant problems and quotations are also fair game.

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3. Rewrite Your Notes

The best way to retain information is to re-write your notes (preferably by hand), after class. Rewriting your notes in your own words is also a plus–you are synthesizing the information given to you by someone else and translating it in a way that allows YOU to BEST understand it. This strategy to note taking also helps to prepare you for any future evaluations because you will have already studied for an upcoming test while perfecting the scribbles that you may have written down in class.

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4. Create Your Own Code

Teachers and professors can often speak quickly and provide you with too much information to write down. Creating your own short forms will help you take notes in a faster, shorter and condensed manner that will not compromise the note’s quality. You can even have some FUN while making your own shorthand by creating a language that is unique to you—stars, arrows, abbreviations and more are all elements of solid short form creation.

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5. Don’t Stress!

Just because the teacher or professor is talking, doesn’t mean that you have to be writing. Rather than copying down all information given, taking note of definitions, facts, enumerated lists, charts and information repeated or written on the chalkboard can be considered useful. Don’t get too hung up over your note-taking abilities—effective note taking is a skill that, like anything, will develop over time. For now, focus on following TMG’s tips to help get you started taking effective notes.

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Back to School Like a BOSS: Five Ways to ACE Your Classes This School Year

Is this hot weather hypnotizing you into thinking that it’s still summer vacay? You might still be wishing that school wasn’t happening, but here at TMG we’re no longer in denial; we’re ready to completely crush the school year and we want you to join us! So, how exactly will you succeed in making school a breeze? Follow the tips below to help you get organized and ready to rake in the A’s!

we-can-do-it-rosie-the-riveter-wallpaper-2-ab1. Highlight Your Life.

  • Highlighters come in so many fun, pretty colours that not only help you decorate your potentially boring black and white notes but also help to signal what information is relevant to your studying. After highlighting your notes, it’s always easier to come back to your pages with fresh eyes and remember what the important information was. Hint: it’s the stuff that’s brightly coloured!

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2. Divide and Conquer.

  • This tip comes in two very important parts– listen carefully!
  • Part one to “dividing and conquering” your school work is to make sure that you have a separate binder for every subject. Dividing your subjects into separate binders will enable you to find the information you need when you need it. Yes, your Math notes will actually be in your Math binder – shocking!
  • Part two of this task is to divide your newly created subject binders into sub-categories. Grab some nicely coloured dividers and section off your binder into categories like “Homework”, “Tests and Assignments”, and “Notes”. Again, you’ll be able to find the information you’re looking for exactly in the exact place that you left it!

165161_med3. Schedule Yourself.

  • Agendas are THE best. In fact, they’re SO great that I almost always never leave my house without one– who knows when I’ll have to schedule something in? A TMG tip to using an agenda effectively is to write down when you have every evaluation on the date itself and in the monthly calendar key. By writing down when you have tests and assignments due not once, but TWICE you are sure to not walk into a classroom without knowing what’s going on.

julia-kostreva-daily-weekly-planner-notebooks-insides-2-monthly-view4. The Case for the Pencil Case.

  • More often than not do I see students who are pencil-less because the one pencil that they’ve hid at the bottom of their backpack is now missing. A sure way to avoid having nothing to write with in class is to have all your fun and fancy pens, pencils, and highlighters in one handy-dandy compartment called…a pencil case! Now you won’t have to beg the person sitting next to you to “borrow” one of their pens– you’ll have your own!

51f741632478e25dd652ad26c2fbe67f5. Electronic Organization.

  • A new school year calls for new electronic folders on the desktop of your computer. Like I do with my binders and dividers, I create a giant folder with many mini subject folders within. I do this electronically for the same reason why I do it manually– to avoid searching through my computer to find what I’m looking for! Seriously, the act of organizing has such a huge impact on our educational state of being! A cluttered book bag or desktop basically means a cluttered mind – and no one wants that!

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