Cornell note-taking is effective because it helps record testable material. These simple steps will get you started with this valuable note taking system.
by Kashfe Rahman, Graduate of UC San Diego
Cornell note-taking has been proven to be an effective method for college students. In a nutshell, the note-taking system involves students jotting down information on whatever the professor is saying in a structured manner. After doing so, you have to write down questions on the left side of the sheet that pertain to bits of notes. Finally, you have to summarize all the info. It is highly recommended to do so on a separate sheet of paper.
How does one take Cornell notes during lectures? Well, here area few steps.
- First, take out a sheet of paper prior to the start of class. Create a two-column table. The left hand column should take up about ⅓ of space, leaving the remaining ⅔ for info from lecture.
- Then, listen closely to the lecture. Don’t rely heavily on presentation slides because the lecturer will most likely give out information that is not there. Listen to the professor and take note on what he/she is saying. Look out for information regarding whatever subject matter is being presented on. Info on slides are to serve as a complement to what they are saying, not detailing word for word. If you have a question, do not hesitate to raise your hand for clarification.
- Finally, look at your notes intently and look at each bit. Figure out what question(s) they answer. For example, if you took notes during an intro to biology lecture about the structure of cells, a question that can be written down on the left might be “what are the parts of a cell?” Do so after class!
Cornell-note taking is effective because it helps record testable material. As long as you have sufficient notes followed by answerable questions to them, y’all will have good studying material. The questions y’all write could possibly end up on exams. Also, always remember to keep focus during classes.