Good note-taking skills are not only important for the TOEFL® test, they will also make you a better overall student. But like any skill, strong note taking requires practice. Read on for tips that will help you take better notes, and do your best on test day!
- Keep it simple. Don’t try to write everything down; you won’t have that much time during the test, or during a lecture when you’re in school. Write down key words and concepts, not sentences. Always try to focus on capturing just the main points.
- Use note-taking symbols. Using symbols and shorthand can help you capture information faster. It doesn’t matter what you use, just as long as you understand it, so find a system that works for you and stick with it. Here are some common note-taking symbols and short cuts.
- Keep moving. Again, whether you’re taking the TOEFL® test or taking notes in class, time will be a factor. If you feel like you’re falling behind, it’s usually best to stop and move on. The important thing is that you don’t want to miss any new information.
- Find a system that works for you. Depending on your learning style, and the type of information being presented, there are a number of different note-taking systems you can use. A popular choice is the outline method, which organizes important points through indenting. Other students prefer to use mind maps or diagrams to help capture information graphically.
- Keep practicing! The best way to improve your note-taking skills is through practice. One excellent resource you can use to practice listening and note taking is TED Talks. These are talks given on a wide variety of topics that last anywhere from a few minutes to 30 minutes or more. Just choose a talk you’re interested in and start practicing!
Find out how to take notes and listen at the same time. Check out this video