Nurisng Tips for Taking Better Notes During Lectures

September 27, 2013 in Nursing TIps

Pen on Paper

There are a number of ways to prepare for an upcoming test. Having a reliable set of notes to refer back to is one of them. The notes students take during lecture classes oftentimes contain the meat and potatoes of what material will appear on the test. However, the only way to guarantee a passing score is to have a good set of notes to study off of.

Nursing students, in particular, have mounds of data they must learn, absorb and be able to recall during test time. Nursing schools expect nothing less and if a student doesn’t currently possess the skills needed to produce useable notes for study sessions, they could be facing a headache of a challenge.

Never Study Off Notes “As Is”

Trying to study off of notes that are fresh from a classroom lecture should be avoided at all costs. Most times, the notes created during class are scattered, cluttered and sloppy. Because students are focused on writing down the most important information, there isn’t time to think about organization. This is why it is essential to take the original handwritten or typed notes from lectures and restructure it for study purposes.

Tests and exams usually cover topics that have been discussed over the course of several classes so it is vital that students create categories or subject headings and match up the notes they’ve taken to those sections. Doing so makes it faster to reference during study sessions and will prevent confusion when trying to locate specific information.

Create Summary Lists

Even the most basic concept discussed during a lecture could result in pages of handwritten or typed notes. When trying to process the material for study purposes, it is a good idea to review the “as is” notes from beginning to end, followed by creating a summary list with bullet points that clearly sum up what was learned from that lecture.

Using the summary list is useful for studying because it is a fast and easy reminder for the student as to what those set of notes are referring to.

Highlight Keywords, Phrases and Concepts

Whenever the instructor writes something on the board, take note and then highlight it. Chances are the instructor is writing for a reason. If showing a presentation, write down (or type) any words, phrases or concepts that appear in bold and/or italicized text and highlight it. These are clear signs that they are important and could end up being on the exam. The same thing goes for if the instructor repeats something more than once or is clearly placing emphasis on what’s being said.

By highlighting those keywords, phrases and/or concepts, it will be more convenient to locate this information when organizing the notes for a study session.

Make a To Do List Before Studying

The simplest tip is to create a short “to do” list for what objectives you plan on accomplishing for each study session, that way you’ll know which set of organized notes to use and which ones can stay in your notebook.

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