When it comes time to study, your notes can either be your best friend or simply useless. Taking good notes forces you to listen closely and comprehend what the instructor is saying. If you're going to sit through class, you might as well make the time worthwhile. Here's how:
Start each lecture on a new page. Write down the name of the lecture (if there is one) and the date. This will help you keep your notes in sequential order.
Write in your own words. Your notes are personal. They should be your way of explaining the lesson to yourself. This will help you a ton in understanding the material quickly and remembering it.
Keep your notes brief. Your notes should mainly be words, phrases, and very short sentences, not paragraphs. Concentrate on the main points and takeaways.
Create an indexing system. Abbreviations can help you find certain notes later. For instance, if you write a "V" in the margin by each vocab word, you can easily find all the vocab words you need to know and review them separately. Similarly, you could write an "F" by each formula, or a "Q" by any questions you want to ask your instructor.
Space things out. Don't try to cram notes into the margins or between lines. It's way easier to read your notes when they aren't jammed together. Try writing on every other line, start a new page for each new concept, or write on only one side of the page.
Bring an audio recorder to class. If your instructor talks fast, record the lecture. You can listen to the recording after class and copy down anything you missed. You could use the audio recorder on your phone, or you can find an inexpensive recorder at most office stores or online.
Type your notes if you have bad handwriting. If you write sloppily or slowly, bring a laptop to class and type your notes instead. Typed notes can also be easier to clean up and format after class.
Review your notes the same day. We can all forget things quickly. Make time to review your notes after class the same day to fill in extra points and identify any questions you want to ask your instructor.
These are some simple steps that will make studying easier and faster throughout the semester. Good luck!
Word to your flocker.