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Home / Blog / Notes Take – Learning Strategies – Study Techniques

Notes Take – Learning Strategies – Study Techniques

Notes Take – Learning Strategies – Study Techniques

With the rapid change in technology log of changes occur frequently in day-to-day working of an industry. The change in technology and information required by the industry has to adopt quickly by its employees. The industry is looking for some special traits like “learning to learn” or Life Long Learning” characteristics in its employees. Learning strategies ensure fast and permanent learning by an individual. There is systematic way of learning induced through learning structures.

Objective: After studying this topic the student will be able to:

  • Understand and develop reading skills.
  • Understand and practice notes taking.

Brief Information

Learning is said to be a change in behavior of learner. The change in behavior occurs due to response or experience received by the learner. The learning is also represented by S-R Theory. It shows that response is stored in the memory as the piece of learning. Whenever in future such type of stimulus is confronted, the brain cells recall this response from the memory and accordingly compel the human-being to change his behavior to negotiate the stimulus.

Major Concepts

  • Reading skill
  • Notes taking

Reading Skill

Reading is a single activity, in life-long learning.which is our major tool. There has been tremendous explosion of information. This generation is facing the problem of information overload. Hence the need for learning reading skill: we need right information, at right time and at right Place, to take appropriate actions. Speed-reading and efficient reading can quickly provided us the needed information and is therefore considered and essential attribute in most work environments. We shall study what reading really means, what are the different purposes for which we read, what techniques we should learn to read effectively. We will not be dealing with the aspects of speed-reading.

Look at the list of things we often ‘read’:
  • Telephone directory
  • Label on medicine bottle
  • Street map
  • Thermometer
  • Timetable
  • Notice
  • Statistics
  • Engagement diary
  • Letters
  • Instructional leaflet
  • Application form

If we ask you to write down what reading means for you, probably you would come out with a definition in which words like ‘comprehend’, ‘decipher’, ‘understand’, ‘interpret’, ‘identify’ might be used by you. For most of us reading is an activity though which we derive meaning out of written texts, symbols, graphics or body postures and gestures. 

Reading is an activity in which the reader attempts to  perceive the potential meaning in the written message and then tries to relate that perceive potential meaning to his or her cognitive structure.

Techniques of reading

Readers often have different purposes for reading written messages; written texts themselves might be less or more difficult to understand. Therefore one has to adopt directory  the same way, we might read a prescribed textbook; we do not read newspapers and magazines the way we might read a book for review; reading fiction is different form reading  a technical treatise. Getting specific piece of information. Over viewing. Comprehension, interpretation, understanding, evaluation memorization, amusement and entertainment are some important purposes of reading.

These are some techniques of reading text material to concentrate on some specific procedures for reading. These techniques are known as (1) skimming (2) scanning (3) glossing (4) questioning (5) mapping


It is the technique of reading to get the ‘cream’ or gist of the text. Browsing or Skimming is useful when time available is short and the reader wants to quickly form some tentative impression about the the message or text.


It is the technique of location specific information, like a telephone number, name, date and definition etc., needed by the readier. Scanning is used to search specific information form reference book. Before using the technique the reader is required to acquaint him or her with the kind of reference system use for classifying information in the text.


It is writing in margins of the text brief comments, cross-references, explanations, observations etc. Glosses are useful while reading the text for the second time: they mark information useful for the reader, and remind about his study plans.


This means writing question in the margins while reading. The questions might simply indicates what the text tries to answer and assist comprehension, or raise issues beyond the text, or simply indicate how the reader is reading to the text. The question also point out the key points in the text.


This is a technique of repressing graphically the concepts and propositions discussed in the text: A concept map is a schematic device for representing a set of concept meanings embedded in a framework of propositions. Mapping not only indicates the ideas discussed in the text, but also concept maps and their relationships are useful tools of learning. They can help memorization of concept structures and indicate where the learners are making wrong connections, thereby allowing the teacher to correct them. You would certainly realize that skimming and scanning techniques are more useful for in extensive reading of texts; whereas, ‘glossing’, ‘questioning’ and ‘mapping’ are more appropriate techniques in intensive reading type.

An Effective Study Strategy (SQ3R Method)

The SQ3R method has been a proven way to sharpen study skills. SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review as shown below


Get the best overall picture of what you’re going to study before you study it territory, studying  a map is the best way to begin.


Ask question for learning. The important things to learn are answers to questions. Questions should lead to emphasis on the what, why, how, who, when and Where of study content. Ask yourself if question as you read or study. As you answer them, you will help to make sense of the remember and material it more easily because the process will make an impression on you. Those things that make impressions are more meaningful. Therefore more easily remembered. Don’t be afraid to write your question in the margins of textbooks, on lecture notes, or wherever it makes sense. 


Over a textbook, reading is not running your eyes. When you read, read actively, read to answer questions you have asked yourself or question the instructor or author has asked. Always be alert to bold or italicized print. The author intend that this material should receive special emphasis. Also, when you read, be sure to read everything, including graphs, tables and illustrations: often graphs, time-tables and illustrations can convey an idea more powerfully than written text.


When you recite, whatever you have read you stop reading periodically to recall. Try to recall main headings, important ideas, competes presented in bold or italicized type, and what graphs, charts or illustrations indicative. Try to develop an overall concept of what you have read in your own worlds and thoughts. Try to connect things you have just read to things, you already know. When you do this periodically, the chances you will remember much more and be able to recall material for paper, essays and objective tests.


A review is survey of what you have covered. It is a review of what you are supposed to accomplish and not what you are going to do. Rereading is an important part of the review process. whatever you have gained from the process, reread with the idea that you are measuring. During review, it’s a good time to go over notes you have taken to help clarify point you may have missed or don’t understand. The best time to review – when you have just finished studying something don’t wait until just before an examination to begin the review process. Before an examination, do the final review. If you manage your final review, time can be thought of as a “fining-tuning” of your knowledge of the material. Thousands of college and high school students have followed the SQ3R steps to achieve higher grades with less stress.

How to be an effective reader?

Reading has a purpose, we have already noted that reading has a purpose. The text material might be difficult on account of several reasons: the language may be unfamiliar to the reader or it may be technical; the concepts may be complex or the sentence structure may be difficult or the vocabulary may be difficult. Reason such as these merely indicate that there is a very little that the writer and readier share between them. However, difficulty in reading may be due to poor design of the message also. In any case, the reader has to make a sincere effort to decipher the meaning. Before he or she arrives sat any conclusion, depending upon the purpose in reading and the difficulty of text material, an effective adopts an appropriate strategy and uses a suitable technique of reading. We shall consider some such strategies, then proceed to practice a couple of them.

Listening Skill

Listening refers to a conscious, deliberate activity which assigns meaning to aural stimuli difference between  listening and hearing;
  • Hearing is a physical response whereas listening is mental and semantic response of sound.
  • Hearing involves processing sound, while listening means processing meaning.

Listening is a complex activity that can be defined as ‘the process of receiving interpreting and assimilating ideas from verbal messages involving critical and literal comprehension of information /ideas.

Advantages / benefits of active listening

  • Avoids misunderstanding and hence conflicts
  • Save time, as the speaker need not repeat the data /things
  • Works out better relationship
  • Identification of problems becomes easier
  • Ensures better learning in classroom
For good listening one needs positive attitude, openness, attention to new ideas and different points of lack and viewof bias or prejudice

Do’s and don’ts of good listening

  • Give time and effort to listen
  • Remove all distractions and give proper attention (Focus/Concentration)
  • Notice both verbal and body language of speaker (use ears and eyes)
  • Give feedback and use reinforcement.
  • Ask questions, clarify details, attitude, rephrase and recall what is said before evaluation
  • Acknowledgement feelings and attune to them
  • Notice the contradiction and discrepancies both verbal and non-verbal clues.
  • Effect on key point and understand 
  • Listen out, don’t select.
  • Decide the purpose of the speaker
  • Don’t advice
  • Don’t misunderstand
  • Don’t interrupt

Notes Taking

While attending any lecture or speech one must be habitual to write down the notes form the speech. One must keep in mind that if you want to use whatever information or knowledge you are going to receive through lecture you must be a good listener as well as you must know good techniques of writing down the notes too. Here are some tips of writing down the notes form a speech or lecture

  • The purpose of notes is to get key points from lectures and reading. Generally in normal speach or lecture of one hour duration there are five to ten key points. However, you also mention other points, which are emphasized by the speaker.
  • Try to design your own question from the key points so that you will be able to explore your understanding and you may ask relevant question to the speaker so that your difficulty or doubts regarding the topic can be cleared by the speaker.
  • Phrases, anecdotes, thought or quips and quotes are very helpful to understand various aspects of the topic. It also adds to our knowledge. Sometimes phrases and idioms help us to understand the topic in more easy way.
  • As short as possible, try to write down the notes . It should be outcome of understanding. 
  • Read and rewrite the class notes as soon as possible after session or class. Try to explore the matter or points discussed.
  • Arrange the notes in such a way that, at any time you will be able to access any point from your notes at the earliest. Leave big margins, underline words, skip lines, if necessary.
  • For reviewing your notes try to remember key points and key words. Just thirty to thirty six minutes are better than pouring over them for two hours at a stretch.

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