5 months ago
Admissions Advice


Hi, I'm in 8th grade and going into high school soon. I'm worried about when to take notes and how to take notes, as I never really learned how in middle school. Does anyone have tips or methods that work for them?

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8 answers

Accepted Answer
5 months ago

I remember this was something that I was also really stressed out over at the beginning of high school. However, it's actually not something you should worry too much about.

Personally, I got through all of high school and graduated as valedictorian without taking any notes. What worked for me is to just really try to pay attention in class and absorb what your teacher is saying, ask questions, interact with the material, etc. Taking notes just distracts me. However, this is really different for every person. You might need to take notes, but don't feel forced to.

If you do want to take notes, I have heard good things about the Cornell method. Here's an article that explains it: https://www.umfk.edu/student-success/academic-support/notes/

5 months ago[edited]

Taking notes sometimes, isn't as helpful as you think. It can really distract you because you are scrambling to write stuff down, and listen to instruction at the same time. My advice is if you are allowed phones, or computers in class turn on text-to-speech, works for me!

5 months ago[edited]

I would personally advise you to try different ways by yourself and find note-taking skills that is easiest for YOU to follow. Here is something that I do, I try to use three colors(red, blue, black) to be able to review my notes in the order that I want! For example, black can be the base color, blue can be vocabs to remember, red can be for underlying or putting a star next to notes that the teacher said to remember or for things to not get confused!

Here is an example of my notes without color: (TAB means leave space in the front!)


# Biological approach

TAB -Paul Broca(blue): Mental illness due to structural problems

TAB-Michael Gazzaniga(blue): Mental illness due to functional problems

Double TAB +Issues w/ action potential

Double TAB +Issues w/ neurotransmitter

Double TAB +Issues w/horomones

TAB -Treatements:(red)


#Cognitive Approach


# Sociocultural approach

This format is personally the easiest for me! Good luck on your long journey

5 months ago[edited]

Hello! This is going to be a bit brief, but I'd be happy to answer follow-up questions.

Let me start off by saying I used to be a HUGE notetaker. I wrote down how I viewed every aspect of what my teacher was teaching my class. I even color coded everything! When going into tests, I was confident that my graphs, charts, and beautifully laid out notes would be my key to success. Turns out, maybe I used about 5% of all my notes.

Notetaking is and isn't helpful. It is helpful to write down main ideas (for example, the time period of the Hausa kingdoms in Africa for history class), but really not helpful at all when you find yourself writing paragraphs of information that you won't use.

The Helpful Notes:

- Main ideas (themes), the big bullet points you might see in your teacher's PowerPoint

- Smaller, brief ideas relating to the overall main idea

- Facts & Time Periods (a MUST for history)

- Important figures or people related to the study

More Detailed Steps:

- After you have your main idea... there can be multiple, but try to find the difference between them and then write your smaller ideas.

- Then, expand on those ideas with BULLET POINTS (this will help with the temptation of writing down paragraphs of lengthy notes). These bullet points could be something like, continuing on the history class theme: gender roles, environmental impact, geographical landmarks, order, currency, etc.

- Make sure to add your time periods if needed + historical figures

This is just my method of note taking, but some others you can look into are: cornell notes (highly recommend) and the mapping method.

I hope this helped. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. :)

5 months ago

I'm a rising Jr. and I've noticed that teachers will never tell you when to take notes, unless its a guided notes in class (which is pretty common where I go to school). But when you are in class always have a pen/pencil and note pad at the ready, and write down anything and everything that you think would be important for a test/quiz. What worked for me is the first two weeks of high school (which is usually pretty chill) just get into the habit of pulling out your note pad/notebook at the beginning of every class (even if you aren't taking notes in that class), this will train you to always have it ready for the class. This is completely unrelated from this topic but, one thing I wish someone told me my freshman year was that when you're in school you might as well pay attention and get all your work done so you don't have to do it at home, always be on top of your work, and don't let others or yourself tell you that you can't do something. If you wanna get into a good college you can as long as you get all your work done, and go beast mode in the classroom at all times.

5 months ago

Hi! I remember how daunting the transition to high school was.

Note taking has always been very "hit or miss" for me as a student. Notes are helpful when studying for exams. However, most exams are not going to be open book, so try not to use your notes as a crutch. Use them instead as reminders of what you already know.

I would recommend trying a little bit of everything when discovering your personal note taking style. Cornell notes give structure and can be beneficial if you like a Q&A style of note taking. If you enjoy less structure when absorbing information, you could consider jotting down quick bullet points (main ideas, relationships, real world examples).

Hope this helps! Good luck.

5 months ago

Make bullet points, here is an example

Summary of Ancient Egypt

leaders were called Pharaohs

Popular leader in that time , Cleopatra

ex: important fact

Hope this helps!

5 months ago

Keep them short, just write down vocab or graphs, you can cut corners of definitions by abbreviating and simplifying the sentences. That should work just about fine.


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