The importance of writing notes

When asked why they are not writing notes during a lecture, many students usually reply, "I have it all right here in my textbook."

Many students find note-taking tedious and pointless because they do not fully understand its merits. However creating proper study notes is an integral part of exams preparation.

When I was a school I had textbooks and access to the library where I could go and read. I took notes of the majority of the things I read but I never read half the notes I wrote. The reason being that it was way much more easier for me to remmember what I wrote than what I only wrote. So I wrote notes not as a future reference but as an important memory aid. Now lets see how notes can help you too.

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Notes improves your understanding

Some concepts need time to be processed and understood by the human mind. Listening to a lecture or lesson or even reading a book is easy.
However the mind needs to do something with the information in order to be able to effectively process it and absorb it. When you take down notes, you subconciously sort, select, and integrate new information into your mind.

Notes improve your memory

Regularly revisiting ideas is a great way of making them stick into the mind. This doesnt you have to re-read the whole textbook. That is where summarised notes come into play you can just revisit your notes to revise. Make it a habit to read over your notes a day after writing them, then after a week, and then after a month later. That way you are by far more likely to remember the concepts.

Notes are your own personalised library

When you find yourself in need to recall a concept that you learnt sometime ago, you can go over the main ideas of the concept by visiting your notes.

Note increase your focus

Studies have shown that students who make their own notes have increased focus on the concept they are learning.

Writing notes

Today I am going to talk about the importance of notes during studying. There are many different ways of note-taking, each method with its own effectiveness level. I am going to divide these methods into two broad categories, passive note-taking, active note-taking.


Passive note-taking

Passive note-taking is when you take down notes that has already been prepared by someone. This might involve the teacher dictating the notes to you or you copying notes from a friend’s book.

This is usually useful if you dont know the objectives of the curriculum and you have to rely on someone who knows the curriculum to pick the important points for you.

However that is also a limitation because if the person who created those notes left out something important you will never know it. You are limited to what someone else thinks is important.

Active note-taking

Active note-taking is when you create your own notes as the lecture proceeds. This leads to active learning because you write down what you understand, as you understand it in your own way. It also creates an important memory link between the lecture and your notes. Usually this way when you look at your notes later there is a chance of you remmembering the exact moment of the lecture and what was being said. Scientific studies indicate that understanting and memory skils are improved when people make their own notes rather than when they copy other people’s notes.

However, the drawback is that you are forced to write at the speed of the lecturer or whoever is talking. You might miss the next crucial detail while mentally debating on how best to write the previous detail.

For this to be effective, take down notes as the lecture proceed, everything you think is important. Then on your own free time, use the textbooks to give your notes some flesh. That way you will find yourself understanding everything you lean effectively.

Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.


Knowledge world · September 10, 2020 at 9:17 am

Good one. Keep it up

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