Many note-taking techniques exist, but the Cornell note-taking system appears to be one of the most effective methods of all. An individual doesn't have to be a technical genius to apply this technique. All he or she needs is a simple piece of notepaper divided into two columns and a bottom row consisting of 4 or 5 lines.
• Main Column- This is the most important column for actually taking notes during the course of the lecture or presentation. Jot down main ideas, quotes and as many details as possible.
• Cue Column - This column is for recording questions and comments regarding the ideas presented in the lecture. The student will come back to these questions during study time.
• Bottom Row- This row allows a student to summarize the essence of what he or she has learned during the lecture and review.
Record: Using the main note-taking column, the students jot down significant ideas, facts and evidence during the lecture.
Questions: Students generate questions regarding the information gathered in the lecture and attempt to answer these questions
Recite: Here students isolate the note-taking column and via memorization, recite the facts and ideas of the lesson in his own words
Reflect: Here is where students can reflect on the information and ask themselves questions such as, "What is the value of these ideas? What are these facts based on?" Be as creative as possible.
Review: Students should spend at least 10 or more minutes reviewing the material each day up to the time of the exam.
The Cornell method helps students take notes effectively, but the system is also good for organizing information in preparation for the exam. Following this method with commitment will ensure a great understanding of subjects as well as success during exams.
By: Jinu Mathew, M. Ed.
Owner, Tutor Doctor of Keller