What you do with your notes in the next 24 hours (or as close as possible) can make a big difference! Here are some note processing suggestions.Prioritize Your Notes
Go through your notes after class while the material is still fresh.
How long you spend on note processing depends on you. You may not need to re-listen to or review the whole lecture.
- If you recorded lectures or have video lectures, go to those parts of the lecture you made a note to review. Make sure to listen to professors’ explanations of problems.
- Alternatively, compare your notes to your supplemental resources (e.g. textbook).
- Go back through slides or sections that had a lot of and/or complicated material.
Figure out which sections of the textbook chapter are important to read through. Fill in any holes or add in more details.
Organize concepts, fill gaps, and identify where you may have questions. (This saves you the stress of trying to do that when also studying for a test or quiz).
Compare notes to a friend in class. The Share and Compare technique, described in this PDF, is great to help answer questions and hear another perspective of the material. Take this as an opportunity to test your understanding – can you teach the material to your friend?
As we mentioned in our note-taking section—leave a page/section blank for note processing.
- Fill in this area with a summary, illustration, charts, or questions from the lecture notes.
- Add notes from your recording along with other class materials that could help (textbooks, Google, etc.)
- Do in-text or suggested problems to show how concepts are applied in practice (connect concepts to their application).
- Make connections between new concepts and previously learned concepts.
Check out this website for help on the best ways to utilize a STEM textbook.
Are your notes as complete as possible? Have you taken time to fill in gaps with the structure and detail you need? Great! When it comes time to study or review there will be no surprises.
Ready to start solving some problems? Check out our tips in How can I tackle problem sets?