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Students can use their time in most classes more effectively by becoming better note takers.  The instruction in most math classes is formatted as follows:  1. Ask questions on previous nights homework 2. Teacher introduces a new concepts via lecture 3. Teacher works example problems on the board 4. Students complete a problem set based on the days instruction Students can improve their efficiency as math learners by keeping an excellent handwritten record of steps 2 and 3.  DO NOT rely on a iphoto of the board.  Each new topic should be labeled with the date, the concept name, and the section in the text that is  covered.     Really make an effort to not only copy the example problem in step three, but to write clarifying notes.  This is what really puts the "note" in note-taking.  You want a record of the example problem that could be read and understood by a friend that missed the class.  In... read more

As a tutor, one of the most common problems I see in students are poor note taking skills. During a lecture in class, many students try to capture everything a teacher or professor is saying. In fact, the average professor lectures at about 180 words per minute and even the fastest typist would be able to keep up with this pace. At that, you are more focused on typing, than actually listening to a lecture and retain information.   Try these three tips when taking notes during your next class: Remove the fluff - Filler words like "the, a, an, this, etc" have no need in notes. Your notes need not be grammatically correct or contain full sentences. Instead aim for complete ideas. In the past, I have reduced notes from 2-3 pages down to 2-3 sentences sometimes less. Pay attention to time - A great note taking technique is to keep time in the margins. This will often lead to the areas that will be covered in exams. For instance, did your finance... read more

Ask any classroom full of students how they study, and you're likely to get a lot of different answers. There will probably be many similar answers, but most people have different methods, locations, and techniques that shortens their study time somehow. Sometimes shortcuts are a great thing- like a shortcut that avoids heavy traffic. The trick to using shortcuts with studying is knowing which ones work, and which ones don't! One of the best ways to ensure that your study time will be used effectively is to take notes during class. Ensuring that your notes make sense to YOU is really important. Your class notes should translate what your teacher is telling you into something that you can remember. For example: the definition of onomatopoeia is, 'the formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named.' If you have a long list of literary terms, the strange spelling of onomatopoeia might get lost with your other lit terms. Writing "sizzle" or "buzz"... read more

Picture it: The gentle rustling of papers flapping and pages turning, the scratching of pens on notebooks, the snoring of the kid next to you, and your professor lecturing at a speed that makes you wonder if she's going to combust. Odds are, somewhere in this scenario, if you are like me then you're lost and writing furiously trying to take some kind of notes before the slide changes for the 47th time. But there's a problem; the professor is moving faster than you write. Typically the best thing to do is to raise your hand and ask her to slow down. The next step however, comes the point of this Note. The best way to take notes is to take as few as possible! By this I mean why write two words when you can write half of one? It'll allow you to keep up with the professor and return your attention to the board or the slides. "But how do you do this word-cleaving Black Magic, Frank?" you ask? You don't need seven years at Hogwarts for it. It's simple: short hand.... read more

If you are like me and have a lot of things to do during the day, you may find yourself asking, "when the heck am I gonna have time to do my schoolwork?!".  Here are my top four pointers that I think will help you stay on top of your game while also keeping you from letting all the good times pass you by! Because let's face it, all-nighters are never fun, and neither is missing out on a good, themed birthday party.   1.  Know your weaknesses and cater to them. Worst subjects--we all have them.  Figure out what yours is and devote the majority of the little time you have to that subject.  Seems pretty obvious, but it needs to be said.   2.  Learn how to take notes while reading. If you get used to reading with a pen in your hand, you'll be able to take notes much more quickly.  This will also help you learn the language of the book, which will make it much easier to find key phrases that are important to remember... read more

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