Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.
We are excited to announce a new role on College Confidential: The Forum Champion! Read all about it and apply now.

How do you take notes in college?


Replies to: How do you take notes in college?

  • TheLetterDTheLetterD Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    I usually just remember the information, but I'm going to try to start taking notes, by hand of course, at my new college this Fall.
  • caemincaemin Registered User Posts: 781 Member
    I take notes by hand. I learned how to take notes in 9th grade (thanks to my history teacher who exclusively lectured (no handouts, no board, no overhead projector) and I cannot type fast enough, with enough accuracy to take notes by computer. I carry a computer throughout the day regardless, but that is not for note taking. As far as methodology goes, I pretty much take as much information down as possible.
  • illinoisgirl324illinoisgirl324 Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    I always take notes on my laptop in lectures because the professors tend to move so quickly that I can't get everything down by hand. But if I'm in a smaller class that is more discussion-based, I always use a pen and paper.
  • ChadVeneChadVene Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    I prefer pen and paper; you can memorize more than just typing away on your laptop.
  • PhilovitistPhilovitist Registered User Posts: 2,739 Senior Member
    Clearly the correct answer is electronic pen and paper. ;)
  • sopranokittysopranokitty Registered User Posts: 1,506 Senior Member
    For classes where the professor uses powerpoint, I use a laptop so that I can keep up with the professor's speed of lecturing, since I've noticed that when professors use powerpoint, they tend to speak rather fast and by the time I finish writing something down, they're already onto the next point. If they're using the board or there's diagrams involved, I use my notebook.
  • DJpsu2015DJpsu2015 Registered User Posts: 811 Member
    I've experimented with both laptop and old-fashioned handwriting note-taking, and the traditional pencil and paper is best for me. With electronics, it's easy to just type whatever the professor spews out; therefore, I don't really register the important information given. Consequently, when I look back at my electronic notes, I tend to leave out little bits of details that makes it hard for me to understand what exactly is I meant. However, when I am actively listening and writing down everything my professor says, I actually do better in class.

    If the professor has powerpoints on the student database, I usually print them off and write along the bullet points to get the extra info for each "big idea." Highlighting is also an essential must for me when I prepare for exams.
  • hardworking21hardworking21 Registered User Posts: 840 Member
    Not to change the topic of discussion too much, but how about textbooks? Did you bring textbooks into lectures? How about e-textbooks vs. actual, physical textbooks?
  • aqsewfqqaqsewfqq Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    I take notes using pencil and paper, I remember things better when I write them down than typing them. Some of my teachers don't allow laptops (they are usually in math/science classes where a laptop is pointless anyway).

    I've only been in college one year, so I haven't had a ton of classes, but I never bring textbooks to lectures. Spanish class was the exception, I needed my book sometimes in class. Most of the discussions I have had I used the textbook. I don't like e-textbooks, I like reading paper instead of a screen and i get distracted very easily on computers.

    As a bonus, a study technique to try: as you read through your notes, write down what you don't know/kind of don't know/know but think is important enough for you to look over again in another notebook. I might read 30 pages and write down 5. Then rip out and study those 5 until you know everything on it. Works for me.
  • noimaginationnoimagination Registered User Posts: 7,054 Senior Member
    99¢ spiral notebooks and a pencil. You'll learn more if you rewrite your notes in your own words each day after class is over.
  • MyPaperBleedsInkMyPaperBleedsInk Registered User Posts: 93 Junior Member
    Well first it's best to go to your classes.... you'll find out what will all be going on, and some professors don't allow computer use during class. Also you may get to know your professor a bit and figure out if they're a fast talker where you might have to the laptop route.....
    I pretty much always take notes with a notebook and pen. Even if we're lecturing from powerpoint, in which case the slides will be online for us to look at whenever, because they don't always stick to the slides.
    You have to also consider that a laptop may be distracting..... for you, if you might end up going to facebook or other non-school pages..... or for others sitting near/behind you because the screen may be in their way of sight, or they just may be curious as to what you're doing on the computer.
  • reesezpiecez103reesezpiecez103 Registered User Posts: 1,246 Senior Member
    I can't learn things by typing them when a professor is talking - I have to write them by hand. I usually buy a three-subject notebook for academic classes, then a small 99 cent lab notebook and different colored pens.

    There are definitely some students who use laptops, and to be honest typing the information is probably a little bit faster. But I found that it's much, much easier to be distracted by email/internet/solitaire/etc., so I usually remember less. Just my two cents.
  • PhilosophePhilosophe Registered User Posts: 110 New Member
    The Cornell method.
  • swattiechickswattiechick - Posts: 219 Junior Member
    I don't take notes unless there's a weirdly specific list I need to memorize. For most college courses if you understand how to approach problems you are in much better shape. Spend class time really trying to learn and understand rather than frantically remember everything.
  • michael2michael2 Registered User Posts: 632 Member
    Try LaTex :D
This discussion has been closed.