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Learning Skills: Note-taking

Useful guides to help you succeed in your studies.

Tips for note taking


  • Don't try to write everything that you hear or read. Write what you think are important key points.
  • Use your own words - paraphrase the key points.
  • Make note of anything that doesn't make sense. You can come back to it later.



  • Organize your notes. Use headings, subheadings, dot points and colours to distinguish different topics and major/minor points.
  • Diagrams can be used to represent connected topics and ideas.
  • Abbreviations and symbols can make note-taking easier.
  • Your notes are just for you, so use the tools that you find easy.
  • Your notes don't need to be works of art, but they should be neat enough to be easily read in the future.



  • At the end of the class or day, review what you wrote down. This will help you remember the topic.
  • At the end of the class or day, the information should still be fresh in your mind. You can add any additional notes that you think will be useful.

Why take notes?

It’s important to take notes in class, or when reading a textbook or online content.

Taking notes increases your concentration, understanding and attention to detail and helps you to organize your thoughts.