Note-Taking Tips

Your notes are a reminder of what you learned in class. Taking good notes can help you succeed in mathematics. The following tips will help you take better classroom notes. • Before class, ask what your teacher will be discussing in class. Review mentally what you already know about the concept.

  • Be an active listener. Focus on what your teacher is saying. Listen for important concepts. Pay attention to words, examples, and/or diagrams your teacher emphasizes.
  • Write your notes as clear and concise as possible. The following symbols and abbreviations may be helpful in your note-taking.
  • Use a symbol such as a star or an asterisk (∗) to emphasize important concepts. Place a question mark (?) next to anything that you do not understand.
  • Ask questions and participate in class discussion.
  • Draw and label pictures or diagrams to help clarify a concept.
  • When working out an example, write what you are doing to solve the problem next to each step. Be sure to use your own words.
  • Review your notes as soon as possible after class. During this time, organize and summarize new concepts and clarify misunderstandings.

Note-Taking Don’ts

  • Don’t write every word. Concentrate on the main ideas and concepts.
  • Don’t use someone else’s notes as they may not make sense.
  • Don’t doodle. It distracts you from listening actively.
  • Don’t lose focus or you will become lost in your note-taking.