I love teaching and want to instil a love for English in all of my students at Beijing Royal School. I developed this site to be a valuable resource for each student. Visit here often to see announcements, lecture notes, PowerPoint presentations, and other useful information.
I really want all of you to reach your potential and become a success at BRS and in life. I look forward to your comments and your input as we study English together.
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As you get involved with the complexities of note taking, you may tend to forget the simple things that can make life a lot easier. These tips are little hints that we all know but sometimes forget. They can be summarized by four directives:
- BE ALERT – so you are aware of and prepared for the lecture content and situation.
- BE ORDERLY – so you can process the lecture now and for review later.
- BE SYSTEMATIC – so you can establish a habit and pattern so you won’t miss anything important.
- BE UP TO DATE – so that your well designed note taking system gets done.
Below is a list of tips which may help you to be alert, orderly, systematic, and up to date.
- Attend lectures regularly. Once you miss one, it will be easier to miss more.
- Use a standard 8 ½” x 11″ loose leaf notebook, for continued organization and review. Spiral notebooks do not allow reshuffling your notes for review.
- Keep the notes for one class separate from other classes. Best yet, keep each class in a separate binder.
- Write on one side of the paper for easier organization. It’s possible to overlook material written on the back of a sheet.
- Leave your notebook at home and carry with you only enough pages to keep track of the lecture. This way you won’t lose your entire set of notes should you misplace them.
- Carry extra pens and pencils for editing and unforeseen obstacles (UFO’s).
- Don’t doodle because it distracts. Keep eye contact when not writing.
- Make notes as complete as needed and as clear as possible so they can be used meaningfully later.
- Leave blanks where information is missed or not understood. Fill in gaps after lecture or as soon after as possible with the aid of the instructor or classmates.
- Develop your own system of enumerating and indenting.
- Use symbols such as asterisks for emphasis.
- Mark or separate assignments given in class in a space apart from the lecture notes.
- Separate your thoughts from those of the lecture; record your own items after the lecture.
- Be alert for cues, postural, visual, etc.
- Record examples where helpful.
- Listen especially at the end of the lecture. If the instructor has not paced his lecture well, he may cram half of the content into the last 5-10 minutes.
- Get into the five-minute technique of reviewing your notes right after class. At this time you can change, organize, add, delete, summarize, or clarify misunderstandings.
- Recopying by itself is a debatable advantage but the five-minute technique is not.
- Have study sessions once or twice a week to learn omissions, clear up misinterpretations and get other students opinions about interpretations.
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Source: Energizing Yourself
- Get Organized. Making a plan for what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it will make sure you’re always ahead of the curve – literally.
- Don’t multitask. Studies have shown that multitasking is physically impossible.
- Divide it up. Studying isn’t fun to begin with, and forcing yourself through a study marathon will only make it worse. Dividing your work into manageable chunks and rewarding yourself when you finish each chunk will make studying (more) fun.
- Sleep. Don’t underestimate the importance of those eight hours of zzz’s every night! Getting a good night’s rest will sharpen your focus and improve your working memory.
- Set a schedule. Do you work better right after school or after you’ve eaten dinner? Are you more productive in 90-minute blocks or half-hour spurts? Find a scheudle that works for you, and stick to it.
- Take notes. Taking notes will not only keep you more engaged during class, but will also help you narrow down what you need to study when exam time rolls around. It’s much easier to reread your notes than to reread your entire textbook!
- Study. This one might be obvious, but did you know that there’s a right and a wrong way to study? Review your material several days ahead of time, in small chunks, and in different manners (for example, write flashcards one day and take practice tests the next). In other words, don’t cram.
- Manage your study space. Find a place that will maximize your productivity. Look for places away from the television and other distractions. Whether it’s your local library or just the desk in your bedroom, set aside a study space that you’ll want to spend time in.
- Find a study group. Sitting down with a group of people who are learning the same things as you is a great way to go over confusing class material or prepare for a big test. You can quiz each other, reteach material, and make sure that everyone is on the same page. After all, teaching someone else is the best way to learn.
- Ask questions. You’re in school to learn, so don’t be afraid to do just that! Asking for help – from a teacher, a tutor or your friends – is a surefire way to make sure you truly understand the material.
Take this test to find out how well you manage your time, and to get advice on which time management tools you should use to improve your productivity.
Source: How Good Is Your Time Management?: Discover Time Management Tools That Can Help You Excel