Making Notes as You Read Material
If you are in college or are planning on attending college, one of the truths of any degree program is that
it will involve a lot of reading. Whether you are planning on attending a nursing program or a graphic
arts program, there is going to be a lot of material that you need to take in and apply.
You can fully expect to do a lot of reading, in addition to course work which has been assigned. Getting
full comprehension out of the experience can be a challenge, especially in focused and directed
Personalize your Learning
Since taking in all of this information can be difficult to process entirely, it is important for you to apply
your own methods to learn. Personal learning habits and tricks are how we are able to solidify
information in our minds and to crystalize it for later use.
Studies have shown that students in college retain very
little information after they have attended a class or have
read from their coursework. This is not necessarily the
result of laziness or ineptitude, but rather is the hallmark
of busy people leading busy lives.
We all have so much to do and so much to remember
that the brain often cannot store everything needed all at
once. Students generally remember less than half of what
they just learned, with the total amount retained
dropping drastically over time.
One of the best ways to remember and process material is to make notes in the reading material, or
have a dedicated place to put these notes. Everyone is different with their on the spot note taking.
Some people prefer to write in the margins of textbooks, while others may want to create a Word
document to constantly add to. It all depends on the preferences and interests of the person.
How these notes are created and compiled is not the critical issue here. Rather, it is the act of creating
them in the first place which enhances reading comprehension and memory.
Your Note Taking Style
We all learn and process and think about things in different ways. As such, it is very useful to take notes
in one’s own unique styles and way; for example, a business management program student may focus
their efforts on core business tenants they find in the material.
It may be as simple and highlighting important material with a highlighter, or making little cross
references throughout a book in order to enhance the learning process. Others may wish to write out
the important parts in their own words.
The physical act of coming up with ways to apply
and remember material is what helps it to crystalize
in the brain itself. We learn by creating connections
and bonds in the brain between all of the things that
we process and think about.
Composing notes on reading materials does exactly
that, increasing learning potential and memory as a
direct result. Whether you are a new student or are
one who is returning a bit later in life, this practice is
one which can make all of the difference in the
world when it comes to academic performance and