Ad: University of Toronto

Our CISM editions:

more to come …

The 5 Best Ways to Take Notes to Get an A!

The 5 Best Ways to Take Notes to Get an A!

Note-taking is absolutely essential to success in post-secondary education, even in secondary education. Notes are essential for learning material in the moment and for reviewing the information later during exam season. Well, there are a ton fo different methods for note-taking, there’s likely one out there that suits you best. Pick your favorite from our lits of the best methods for taking great notes in post-secondary.

Cornell method

The Cornell method is a rather simple but effective method for note-taking. Essentially you divide your notes for that lecture into 3 different sections: cues, notes, and summary. In the cues section, you can identify the main points, people or possible test questions. You should aim to complete this section before class or shortly after class. In the notes section, you take notes as you usually would. You could use the outline method here or any number of methods. Finally, in the summary section aim to write a brief summary of the lecture shortly afterward or when you begin reviewing these notes for an exam.

Bullet journaling

Bullet journaling is a great option for those who are creative. Here, note-takers can make use of an entirely blank page and design it as they see fit. A journal entry might include some definitions, assignment due dates and a doodle of a cute animal. Anything could be on the page, After all, it’s your bullet journal. While this type of note-taking is particularly great for creative and visual minds, it can have its drawbacks. Bullet journaling can be a lengthy process, and they are often isn’t enough time to get the perfect layout when you’re panicking to write and listen to all the information presented during a lecture. But, you can always combat this by only using this method for review notes before exams, when you have more time for writing.

Outlining method

This might be the most popular of the note-taking methods and is a relatively easy method for almost everyone. Here, you pick out the main points of a lecture and write down detailed subpoints about each main point. In the end, your result appears organized clear and full of all the details of the lecture. This type of note-taking is generally quite quick and is useful for both in-class learning and review. This technique is one of the best methods for taking great notes, which is probably why it’s so common.

Web notes or mind maps

A popular option that many people use is mind maps or web maps. This note-taking style places the main idea at the center of the page and then works off of that to get to smaller and smaller specific ideas. It’s a great visual for those who want to see how everything relates to the main idea. In addition, you can connect similar ideas in your mind map. This is helpful for understanding the interconnections between concepts. Finally, this map type is a great option for lectures or review because you get a thorough understanding of all the main concepts and how they relate to each other. One downfall is that notes like this might not leave you enough room to go into deep detail about each concept.

Flow Notes

This method is ideal for those who want to maximize their learning during lectures or in the classroom. It essentially involves writing down any words, drawings, charts, etc, that you think are important and help you to understand the concept. At the end of the lecture, you may end up with a ton of little notes, arrows and things that are circled. This is both good and bad. While at the moment you may have learned a lot and understood the concepts, when you come back to these notes later they may seem confusing. Perhaps a good idea is to use this method during lecture but then translate them to more detailed, clear notes for review shortly after taking them in class.

It might seem like you’re spending entire days just taking notes over and over again. That’s why it’s good to find a method that you enjoy and that helps you to learn more efficiently. Hopefully, amongst our list of the best methods for taking great notes in post-secondary, you’ll find a technique that’s ideal for you!

For even better notes, make sure your writing skills are also spectacular or use software such as Evernote!

Also read:
Share This Post
Additonal Setting with CSS
Related Articles​
Please feel free to contact us about this article
Please note : We will generally reply to you within 2-3 business days. Please contact us at if you don't get any reply from CISM.

Copyright & Disclaimer

The information on this site is for information purposes only. Canada International Student Magazine Inc (CISM) assumes no liability or responsibility for any inaccurate, delayed or incomplete information, nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. The information contained about each individual, event or organization has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organization, or third parties without verification by us.

Any form of reproduction of any content on this website without the written permission of the publisher, is strictly prohibited. CISM is operated by Canada International Student Magazine Inc. a trademarked company; all rights reserved.

Contact to CISM

Please note : We will generally reply to you within 2-3 business days. Please contact us at if you don't get any reply from CISM.
subscribe to our newsletter​ icon

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Sign up to our CISM newsletter for International student and Immigration in Canada