This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.
College lectures can be extremely overwhelming and intimidating. Sometimes, you feel like the professor talks so fast you didn’t have time to process any information. And other times, you have absolutely no idea what the professor is talking about.
Some students are super alert during lecture, and others spend the entire time distracted by their phone. But is there a secret recipe for taking lecture notes? Yes! Well, I have found the secret recipe for myself and want to share what I do with you all.
When I started college, I was terrible at taking lecture notes. Really terrible. I tried to write down everything that was on the slides (which ended up in me not listening to the professor speak at all) and I never looked at my notes again until it was time to review for exams. This is a terrible method. My post, How to Make Dean’s List in College, explains exactly why it was a terrible method.
It wasn’t until halfway through my second year in college when I finally figured out a note taking method that worked for me. Every student is different and everyone learns differently, but these methods are definitely worth trying out! Let me know what you think and if any of these lecture taking notes work for you.
1. Do the reading of the next lecture’s topic: If you read before class, you will come to class prepared! You will know what the professor is talking about and you won’t be lost. This way, you will be able to actually listen to the professor.
2. Print out the lecture notes (if possible): If your professor posts his lecture notes before class, print them out! Read over them, then bring them to class with you.
3. Have questions prepared: A large part of learning is asking questions! While doing your reading and previewing the lecture notes, jot down any questions that come up. Have them easily accessible during the lecture.
4. Actually listen to the professor: One of the most common mistakes that students make is not actually listening to the professor. Many students simply write down what is on the slides – but they will be posted online! Write down any important information your professor says that isn’t on the slides.
5. Write on your printed notes: This is key for taking notes during lecture. While your professor is speaking, jot down notes next to the indicated topic on your pre-printed lecture slides. You can also highlight anything your professor puts emphasis on. This will help tons!
6. Ask questions: Lecture is the perfect time to ask questions because you can get your question answered straight away and you can help other students too! If asking a question in front of hundred os people is too intimidating, wait until the lecture is over to approach your professor and ask your questions then.
7. Pay attention: This one is obvious and simply put – pay attention! It will do wonders for you.
8. Edit your notes: If you’re anything like me, your lecture notes will come out messy and unorganized. After lecture is the perfect time to re-edit your notes to something you can understand because the lecture will still be fresh in your mind!
9. Add your notes to your study guide: In How to Make Dean’s List in College, I talk about how I use and make study guides. Study guides are vital to academic success in college. After lecture, make sure you add your new notes to your study guides. This will help with further review.
10. Ask more questions: Ask questions during lecture AND after lecture! After lecture, you have time to process the information even more. Here, you will figure out what you understand and what you are struggling with. Take this time to evaluate where you are in the class and plan to ask your professor more questions.
Now that I’ve discussed how to take the best lecture notes you possibly can, I’m going to tell you how you can make money (yes, real money) off of them! Taking lecture notes is something that you already do, so why not put some money back into your pocket.
There are several websites in which you can sell your lecture notes to other students. Simply upload pdf files/pictures of your notes, upload them to your account, and sell! Now, I know this sounds too good to be true and you’re probably wondering: “is this a scam?” Well I can tell you that it is not.
I have personally tried several of these websites and have made money myself from selling my lecture notes. So far, I have made $250! You can read other students testimonials on each website.
Note: All of the websites that I am linking below all do the same thing – they are a marketplace for students to buy and sell notes. These are sites that I use and recommend. I would never recommend anything that doesn’t work or isn’t helpful.
Do you have any great tips for taking lecture notes? Have you sold notes online before? Let me know!