It doesn’t matter how much time you spend in the classroom, when it comes down to it the only thing left of those long hours is your notes. Good notes are, of course, one of your best concrete study aids in preparing for your next big test. But they also are the surest way to jog your memory into calling up all those little details of what was said in class, even stuff you didn’t write down. Bottom line: your notes are the only bridge between the time you spend in class and actually getting the grades you want. How dependable that bridge is comes down to how good your notes are.  Here are a few tips for taking great notes:
  • Keep notes neat and organized.  Use separate note-taking tools for each class, project, product, etc.
  • Review notes as soon as possible after the meeting while fresh in your mind. Fill in any gaps and clarify any weak spots you find.
  • Don’t try to write everything down.  Record only necessary facts and ideas.
  • Mark important items by highlighting or underlining.

Here are a few additional pointers especially for middle school students:
  • Date your notes so it is easy to look back at them later.
  • Use a separate notebook for each subject, or keep subjects separated in a multi-subject notebook.
  • Give each day’s notes a heading, like the chapters of a book, so that they mean something when you look back.
  • Use symbols and abbreviations, and don’t feel like you have to write down every word a teacher says.  If you miss something, leave a blank space and fill in the gaps later with the help of your teacher or friends.