You listen intently to a lecture. You’ve followed what your instructor said and you enjoyed your learning experience. A few hours later, you simply cannot seem to recollect the information you thought you had absorbed!
Human capacity for recollection isn’t so great. That’s bad news for students who need to remember concepts, theorems, laws and complex topics. The good news is that note-taking can not only help with recollection but also improve learning outcomes in other ways. Here’s why a habit of note-taking can make you join the ranks of successful students.
1. You learn actively
When you take notes, you’re processing information. You’re highlighting facts, connecting the dots, and breaking down a big topic into small chunks. Engaging actively with the information increases chances of recollecting some if not all of what you learned.
2. You’re more attentive
It’s easy to drift off during a boring lecture. Taking notes requires physical exertion and mental effort. There is a lesser chance of missing out on crucial information that can improve your understanding of a topic.
3. You know what to prioritize
Before online learning, we highlighted important points in textbooks with a marker. Today, note-taking tools have made it easy to jot down key points during virtual classes. You have the opportunity to develop these key points later on. You can quickly run through your notes before a test and make a mental note of priority points.
4. You can learn more about a topic
Successful students invest time in expanding their understanding of a subject. They note down the titles of books, articles or research studies, or related topics, for further exploration. This gives them an edge during exams in which they need to debate or describe a topic in detail.
5. You improve your organizational skills
Note-taking isn’t merely about writing down what is said. It is about determining the key points to remember or research. Making sense of complex or broad topics becomes easier. You become more efficient at organizing large amounts of information. Learning seems less overwhelming!
A habit of taking notes in your academic years can be beneficial for your career. You will be better able to take minutes at a meeting, prepare for presentations, and have feedback conversations.