Note Taking and Study Skills _Student Handout_

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					         Note Taking and
               Study Skills

                           Note Taking

            Using Abbreviations to Write Notes Quickly

             Note Taking Symbols and Abbreviations

                         Reading Styles

                       Reading Textbooks


“Alternative Sources of Energy” Chapter - Grade 9 Science Textbook
                                       NOTE TAKING

Prior to studying, it is important to have good class notes to study from. Taking good notes is a
three stage process in which there are certain things you do before class, during class, and
after class.

      Get Ready to Take Notes (before class)

          ▫   Review your notes from the previous class (this will help you remember what
              you covered)

      Take Notes (during class)

          ▫   Listen for “signal statements” (e.g. “Remember that…” or “The most important
          ▫   Write quickly and use abbreviations (see attached handout)

      Rewrite Your Notes (after class)

          ▫   Write notes in full sentences and avoid abbreviations

Many of the questions you find on class tests will be based upon the information your teachers
orally present in class. Therefore, you need to write class notes that completely and
accurately include the most important information presented by your teachers. This is hard to
do because your teachers can talk faster than you can write.
It would be nice if your teachers talked slower so that you could keep up with what they are
saying as you write your notes. This is not realistic though. It is up to you to write more
quickly. One way to do this is to write abbreviations for words. An abbreviation is a
shortened form of a word used when writing to represent the complete word. You must be able
to recognize the complete word from its abbreviation.
Many words have a commonly used abbreviation. Here are some examples of words that have
a common abbreviation:

                    Word              Abbreviation     Word         Abbreviation

                    department        dept             package      pkg

                    introduction      intro            negative     neg

                    junior            jr               magazine     mag

                    mathematics       math             foot         ft

                    weight            wt               highway      hwy

You can form your own abbreviation for just about any word. Here are three ways you can do
1. Write just the beginning of a long word. Here are some examples of long words that
   have been abbreviated by writing just the beginning of the word:

                  Word             Abbreviation      Word                Abbreviation

                  different        diff              feminine            fem

                  incorporated     inc               population          pop

                  elementary       elem              ambiguous           ambig

                  molecular        molec             separate            sep

                  division         div               hippopotamus        hippo

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2. Leave out the vowels when writing a word. Here are some examples of words that
   have been abbreviated by leaving out the vowels when writing the word:

                      Word        Abbreviation   Word           Abbreviation

                      century     cntry          point          pnt

                      mountain    mntn           school         schl

                      reason      rsn            clean          cln

                      popular     pplr           teacher        tchr

                      quality     qlty           progress       prgrss

3. For words that have just one syllable, write just the first and last letter of the
   word. Here are some examples of words that have been abbreviated by writing just the
   first and last letter of the word:

                          Word    Abbreviation   Word      Abbreviation

                          quart   qt             land      ld

                          tick    tk             round     rd

                          girl    gl             pack      pk

                          night   nt             field     fd

                          link    lk             heart     ht

Use common abbreviations of words whenever you recognize them. For other words, form
abbreviations by using one of the three ways you just learned. Use the way that best fits the
word for which you are writing an abbreviation. Do not try to abbreviate every word you write
in your notes. Abbreviate those words that are important and for which you can quickly form
FROM ITS ABBREVIATION. Knowing the context in which you wrote the word will help you
recognize the complete word from its abbreviation.
Using abbreviations for words will help you take good notes more quickly. Having good notes
will help you do better on tests.

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When you are listening to your instructor and trying to take notes at the same time, it can be a
little difficult to write quickly enough. Using symbols in your notes will help you write more
quickly. Here are some symbols you can use:

     SYMBOL                      MEANING                                  EXAMPLE
                 Leads to, produces, causes, makes       Practice  improvement
                 Comes from, is the result of            Success  determination
                 Increased, increasing, goes up, rises   Taxes  200% last year
                 Decreased, decreasing, lowering         Salaries  this year
          &       And                                     Coffee & cream
         @        At                                      I’ll be home @ 4:00 p.m.
           /      Per                                     17 miles/gallon
          p       Page                                    Read p 89
         pp       Pages                                   Study pp 37-40
           ?      Question                                Answer ? 5
          +       Plus, in addition, and, also            He rides a bike + he skates
           -      Minus                                   Roses – red roses
          =       Equal to, is                            Women are = to men
          ~       About, approximately                    He’s ~ 17 yrs old
          ft      Foot, feet                              He’s 6 ft tall
          x       Times                                   5x the diameter of the earth
          >       Greater than                            6>2
          <       Less than                               My salary is < yours
          $       Money, cost, price                      He left his $ at home
         %        Percent                                 12% of the employees came
            .·.   Therefore                               I think .·. I am
             2    To or two or too                        Time 2 go
           w/     With (something)                        A war was fought w/ NATO aid
          w/o     Without                                 They fought w/o fear
           w/i    Within                                  Problems w/I the company
         e.g.     For example                             Professionals, e.g. doctors, lawyers
          i.e.    That is                                 A Siamese, i.e. a cat
          etc.    Et cetera, so forth                     Cats, dots, etc., make good pets
          b/c     Because                                 We pay taxes b/c it’s the law
          b/4     Before                                  Chicken b/4 egg?
          Re:     Regarding, about                        I need to see you re: sales
        ASAP      As soon as possible                     Finish your exam ASAP
           vs     Versus                                  Purple vs green

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                                   READING STYLES

You need to know how to select and use a reading style that is consistent with your purpose
for reading. Are you reading for comprehension? To get the general idea? Or to find

                                          Three Reading Styles:

                                          1. Study Reading – Read for comprehension (often
                                             read slower and challenge yourself to
                                             understand the material)

                                          2. Skimming – Read quickly to obtain a general
                                             idea of the material

                                          3. Scanning – Use this method to quickly locate a
                                             specific piece of information within the reading


SQRW is a four-step strategy for reading and taking notes from a textbook. Using SQRW will
help you to understand what you read and to prepare a written record of what you learned.
The written record will be valuable for class discussions and to study from.

      Survey – scan the contents, introduction, and chapter summaries (this
       will give you a general idea of what the chapter is about)

      Question – make a note of any questions you have after surveying (e.g.
       if you see a heading “uses of Electricity”, you might form the question
       “What are some uses of electricity?”)

      Read – as you read, find the answers to each question you formed

      Write – in your notebook, write the answers to each question (be sure
       each answer contains all the important information needed to answer the

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       Preparing to Study:

              Get organized and gather materials (pen, pencil, eraser, scrap paper)
              Make sure you have enough space
              Remove yourself from distractions and interruptions
              If listening to music, keep music low
              Have good lighting and a comfortable chair
              Keep the temperature at a comfortable level

       Avoid Procrastination:

              Motivate yourself to work on a task by staying positive
              Prioritize tasks
              Commit yourself to preparing a task once started
              Reward yourself whenever you complete a task
              Work on tasks at the times you work best
              Break large tasks into small manageable parts
              SET GOALS!

       Study Hints

              Use mind maps to organize your info
              Study with a buddy
              Yellow paper helps you memorize
              Peppermint candy helps clear your head
              Drink plenty of water
              Stay away from sugar – eat a banana or cheese
              Use a different colour highlighter for each subject

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