Note taking-skills

Hello everyone, how was the first week of school? The first week of school always been rough after a long break. But don’t worry homeon9tuition always by your side to pick up your momentum.

Today, we at homeon9tuition would like to give some tips and tricks to master the one of important skills in your life. Study shows that note taking skill is one of the fundamental skills required by students to survive your study life, either you are in primary school, secondary school or university. Note taking should enhance student learning and helps them have a short and concise recap on difficult concepts more easily, thus help them to retain what have learnt. Even people without a real concept of “study skills” know that students are supposed to take notes.

Students struggle with note-taking because they are overwhelmed by the content covered in class. They don’t know where to start. They confused what to write down because they don’t understand the content well enough to identify the main ideas and key points. However, nobody was born knowing how to take notes efficiently. We identify that note taking skill required more time and should be taught to the students explicitly. Holding to this belief, homeon9tuition gathers tutors’ thoughts and opinions to master this skill.

Homeon9tuition team would like to share these strategies for effective note-taking with our readers:

Record significant facts.

The aim of note-taking is summarizing the most vital part shared by the teachers and homeon9tuitions’ tutors during a class. It can be dates, names, places, formulas or anything else that is emphasized. It’s good to write a lot of notes, but teens should focus on jotting down points that seem important, recurring themes or other details that are critical to their overall understanding.

Group ideas.

Lots of “raw” notes may not make studying any easier for a student. It’s a good idea to leave space on the left- or right-hand side of the notebook for condensing and recapping concepts. During class or session with homeon9tuition tutor, students can write down any main ideas on the side of their notes, or at a minimum, subtitles of what was discussed.

Refer along in the book if appropriate.

When the teacher focuses on a particular chapter or topic, it can be helpful later on to record page number on the note to make referral process easier. Students should ask at the beginning of the period if the teacher is referencing textbook material. It also helps whenever students want to have an in-depth discussion with homeon9tuition tutor or with their classmates.

Date and title notes.

It’s always been a minor thing that can make a huge difference. In this case, labeling notes is proven beneficial when it comes time to study for a test. Students should always put the date, class name and topic(s) discussed at the top of their notes. If the notes are made based on published materials, the name of the book, chapter and page number is recorded. With these information recorded, recap session will be easier, as students can always compare and ask further information from their teachers or Homeon9tuition tutors.

Highlight the clues.

Teachers and Homeon9tuition tutors usually point out information that students need to know and it is a smart idea to call out these cues in notes. Students should listen for phrases like the most important part, for example, in summary, as a review and the only exception to this is. These should trigger careful note-taking and teens should mark these important points with symbol.

Say it another way.

One of the most important parts of note-taking is not the note-taking itself—it’s the reflection process. Students should write down complex points in their own words based on their understanding. This helps information “click” and reinforces long-term retention. Nevertheless, students can always check their notes with teachers and tutors to make sure everyone is on the same page, and the key points are covered.on

Prepare yourself for information.

How? First, note-taking is infinitely easier if students have read the textbook before class. If they do some background reading before listening to the teacher’s lecture, they will have an easier time picking out the main ideas. Having some background information about the subject also makes it easier to make connections. Learning is all about connecting new information with things you already know. If they go into a class with a little knowledge to connect to the lesson, they will learn a lot more compared to if you go in completely blank. Students later can make connection between what they learnt in class and discussion session with Homeon9tuition tutors. At the end, students are expected to get an overall picture on the topics given by the teachers in the first place.

Add visuals to your notes whenever possible.

Create your own pictures, graphs, or diagrams. Recreate visuals that your teacher or Homeon9tuition tutor shares in class or related pictures from the textbook. This will give you more than one way to think about the content, so students will have an easier time remembering it. A study shows that adding visual into the notes is proven to:

  • Stick in long memory
  • Transmit message faster
  • Improve comprehension
  • Motivate learners

Assimilate technology language when taking notes

A tutor from Homeon9tuition recommends students to write down the note just little texting. Why? Why texting out of all method? It’s actually easier to use the concept of “shorthand” to nowadays than it used to be. As students are used to abbreviation and short form in daily life, it is easier to assimilate the routine into their daily life as a student. Texting has taught students all about abbreviating and leaving out all but the most important words in sentences. Teachers and Homeon9tuition tutors might wish they would use proper spelling and grammar the rest of the time, but at least students are on the right track for taking notes. It’s much faster for them to write “Xndr d Gr8 kng mcdnia” in their notes than “Alexander the Great was the king of Macedonia.”

Other that writing like texting, Google and internet searches in general have also helped students understand “keywords” and “main ideas.” Students can try taking notes, just like they writing keywords and phrases when entering search terms. The right keywords should summon related information from your memory.

With above strategies mentioned, homeon9tuition also would like to share methods and techniques of note taking that can be used to complement the strategies.


If a student is more to visual learner, this method is for you. After a long discussion with teacher and Homeon9tuition tutor, students can summarize the topic using mind-map technique. Mind-map is one the common tips shared by teacher or motivator to study efficiently. They are a great  note taking and study tool as they engage students in whole brain thinking. They allow you to see the big picture (how all the different ideas are to connected to one another). They are used as a study aid to help clarify thoughts, determine relationships, simplify complex ideas and memorise information. Other benefits of mind-map are;

  • Helps students brainstorm and explore any idea, concept, or problem
  • Helps students take study notes and plan tasks
  • Facilitates better understanding of relationships and connections between ideas and concepts
  • Makes it easy to communicate new ideas and thought processes
  • Allows students to easily recall information
  • Makes it easy to organise ideas and concepts

With mind mapping, students write the topic in the center, and then subheadings branch off from it. Students then write more specific details around the heading and subheadings as needed.

Cornell Notes Method

This might be first time for student to hear this method. The Cornell Notes system is a note-taking system devised in the 1940s by Walter Pauk, an education professor at Cornell University. Pauk advocated its use in his best-selling book How to Study in College. Science has proven that this method is not only efficient but also makes it a lot easier to review notes especially when preparing for an exam.

Cornell notes usually consist of three sections. Homeon9tuition tutors would like to think of it as a glorified T chart. Students write key ideas or terms in the left column, and the right column, which is sizably larger, lists all of the important ideas related to the main ideas in the left column. The bottom portion of the Cornell Notes is a place for students to reflect on what they have learned. Typically, this space is used to summarize ideas, but teachers and tutors can easily ask students to synthesize ideas from multiple texts, to make connections, or to ask questions, among other options. (Refer to the diagram for better understanding)

The charting method

This method is highly recommended by Homeon9tuition tutors for subject that has heavy content and require memorising factual information such as History and Islamic study. The components of this method are drawing column and labelling appropriate headings in a table. First, students need to determine categories to be covered in the note. They can be date, incident, people involved, and outcome. As teaching or discussion session going through, students are required to record the information into the appropriate category. By practicing this method, students are able to grasp an overview of the topic, in chunked down version in a piece of paper. Other than that, students are able to;

  • cut down on the amount of timespend on editing and reviewing during test time or intensive study period
  • do revision in a well-structured note
  • easily compare important category

The outline method

This method is one of the prominent methods among student. The outline methods would allow students organize notes in a structured form, helping the students to save a lot of time for further reviewing and editing. As the name suggests, this method requires students to structure your notes in form of an outline by using bullet points to represent different topics and their subtopics. Start writing main topics on the far left of the page and add related subtopic in bullet points below using indents. However, subjects that compromise formulas and charts such as Chemistry and Mathematics are not recommended to use this style of note-taking. This method also helps students to:

  • Highlights the key points of the lecture in a logical way
  • Ease of use allows the students to focus
  • Reduces the reviewing and editing time
  • Gives a proper and clean structure to your notes


Sketch notes are a form of note taking that combines text, layout, color, and imagery. It has powerful brain benefits, but it definitely lies in the realm of creativity. Many students who enjoy coloring, drawing, and thinking outside the box would love it. Because of its rising popularity, it’s worth at least introducing to students. Sketch-noting is most beneficial when students already have a good grasp on the material, so doodling sketch notes during a lecture might not be effective.


Note-taking is a crucial part of every student’s life and the way you do it can have a great impact on your studies and results. If your notes are messy, it can be difficult to review them and find important information before tests and exams. This is why you should consider the mentioned techniques and methods to take notes effectively. Not only they will deepen your understanding of the information, speed up your revision, and improve your recall but they will also help you stay disciplined and organized, maximizing your chances to fetch good marks.

Bonus: Note-taking is an important study skill, but parents and teachers can forget to teach students how to do it. Students need a system thus parents and teachers can be part of the system. If you need any help to use any of the methods, feel free to contact us anytime. We at Homeon9tuition are more than happy to help you pave way for success.

That’s all from Homeon9tuition. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you guys for the next article.