Taking Lecture and Class Notes

Information presented in class often contains the central concepts of the course and the material most likely to be included on exams. Yet, students frequently do not realize the importance of notetaking and listening. The following handouts provide tips on how to recall more information from your lectures through active listening and purposeful notetaking. In addition, lecture notes can be a critical tool for preparing for exams. Suggestions are provided for how to use your notes regularly to review.


Listening is an essential learning tool, however, humans are poor listeners. Research shows that individuals can only recall 50% of what they hear and that 20-30% is incorrect! The following documents outline ways to improve your listening habits and retain more information from class.

Taking Notes

While many students view notetaking as an activity conducted simply in lecture, solid notetaking skills require preparation and reflection as well. Your class notes can serve as an important tool for reviewing for exams and distilling key concepts. The following handouts provide suggestions on ways to take good notes and use them well. The key is to develop a system that enables you to :

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