Five Secrets to Taking Good Notes
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Five Secrets to Taking Good Notes

Aug 3, 2015

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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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