When it comes to math, taking notes is an invaluable part of the equation (pun intended...we couldn’t help ourselves).
Thorough, legible and organized notes can help students to more clearly understand the material, be more prepared for upcoming tests and better retain knowledge. But we understand -- taking great notes can be easily said than done, especially when it comes to math.
Thankfully, our San Francisco tutors have you covered -- the path to better math notes starts right here.
1. Listen. If you’re too busy writing to listen to the lecture, then you’re bound to be in trouble come study time. Find a balance between listening to the lecture and taking notes, and you’re golden -- you’ll be able to absorb the vocalized lecture as well as take notes on important or problematic concepts.
2. Record. Do you struggle to listen and take notes at the same time? Ask your teacher if you can use your phone, computer or an individual recorder to turn your class into your own personal private podcast. This way, you don’t have to stress about catching everything within the live lecture -- you can relisten to the lecture as many times as necessary, and your note-taking process isn’t confined to the classroom.
3. Review. One of the most important ways to take better notes in the future is to review the notes you’ve already taken -- if you’re looking for ultimate test preparedness, the note-taking process isn’t done when the final bell rings. Looking over your notes not only helps you review the topics you’re currently studying, but allows you to review your note-taking process itself. Are your note illegible? Are they scattered? Did you miss important points? All things to take into account when sitting down in your next class.
4. Systematize. Create a note-taking system that works for you. Does circling or underlining important points work for you? Do you prefer visual notes to bullet points? Is web-mapping helpful for you? There are many different types of note-taking strategies, which makes it especially important to find the one that best suits your studying style. Everyone learns differently, so be sure to adopt (or design) a strategy that makes the most sense to you.
5. Ask. If you encounter a concept you don’t understand in class, it’s going to be difficult to take notes on it in a way that will help you later on. Assuming there is an opportunity to ask questions, don’t just skim over concepts, terms or problems that you don’t understand -- raise your hand, speak up and ask. If you’re not in a situation where you can ask for clarification, be sure to write down as much relevant information as possible -- and make a note to investigate further when you’re in front of a book, computer or tutor.