Do you sometimes struggle to determine what to write down during lectures? Have you ever found yourself wishing you could take better or more effective notes? Whether you are sitting in a lecture hall, or a class, with a few strategic practices you can easily take notes. Just like other schools, Sudhir Memorial Institute as one of the cbse affiliated schools in howrah raises the importance of note-taking. Note-taking is capturing information you see or hear during a presentation in a class.

Why good notes matter

In class benefits

Taking good notes in class is an important part of academic success in college. Actively taking notes during class can help you focus and better understand main concepts. In many classes, you may be asked to watch an instructional video before a class discussion. Good note-taking will improve your active listening, comprehension of material, and retention. Taking notes on both synchronous and asynchronous material will help you better remember what you hear and see.

Post class benefits

After class, good notes are crucial for reviewing and studying class material so that you better understand it and can prepare appropriately for exams. Efficient and concise notes can save you time, energy, and confusion that often results from trying to make sense of disorganized, overwhelming, insufficient, or wordy notes. When watching a video, taking good notes can save you from the hassle of pausing, rewinding, and rewatching large chunks of a lecture. Good notes can provide a great resource for creating outlines and studying.

Preparing to take good notes in the class

You need to prepare yourself to take good notes in class. You can preview your texts or reading assignments prior to lecture. Previewing allows you to gain the main ideas and concepts that will most likely be discussed during the class. Look at your course syllabus so that you know the topic and what you are going to focus on.

Note-taking during class

Here are some practical steps you can try to improve your in class note taking.

  • If you are seeking conceptual information, focus on the main points the professor makes, rather than copying down the entire presentation or every word the professor says. Remember, if you review your notes after class, you can always fill in any gaps or define words or concepts you didn’t catch in class.
  • If you are learning factual information, transcribing most of the lecture verbatim can help with recall for short-answer test questions, but only if you study these notes within 24 hours.
  • Record questions and thoughts you have or content that is confusing to you that you want to follow-up on later or ask your professor about.
  • Jot down keywords, dates, names, etc. that you can then go back and define or explain later.
  • Take visually clear, concise, organized, and structured notes so that they are easy to read and make sense to you later. See different formats of notes below for ideas.
  • If you want your notes to be concise and brief, use abbreviations and symbols. Write in bullets and phrases instead of complete sentences. This will help your mind and hand to stay fresh during class and will help you access things easier and quicker after class. It will also help you focus on the main concepts.
  • Be consistent with your structure. Pick a format that works for you and stick with it so that your notes are structured the same way each day.
  • For online lectures, follow the above steps to help you effectively manage your study time. Once you’ve watched the lecture in its entirety, use the rewind feature to plug in.


Part of good note-taking includes revisiting your notes a day or so after class. During this time, check for clarity, fill in definitions of key terms, organize, and figure out any concepts you may have missed or not fully understood in class. Figure out what may be missing and what you may need to add or even ask about. If your lecture is recorded, you may be able to take advantage of the captions to review.