Going into second year has opened my eyes up to so many things I should’ve focused on and improved on. Lectures can seem like such a dreadful thing to have to sit through but without them we’d be lost. Looking over my notes from first year there’s so many points that I would fix so let’s start talking about how to get the most out of the lecture.
First off have some equipment with you, whether that’s a laptop or paper or even flash cards bring something with you. A lot of lectures add extra detail into the lecture then just what’s off the slide so always make sure you have something to hand incase you need to note anything down. I typed up all my notes in first year but this year I’m trying to write them down and make connections as I go ahead.
Which leads me onto the next point, summarising, summarising, summarising. It’s very easy to note down word for word what is mentioned in the lecture.
Make sure you are only getting the key points. Otherwise your notes start to look more like essays and it becomes difficult especially after the lecture has passed to understand what the key parts.
If your lecturer sets out learning objectives at the beginning make sure your notes focus around them. These are the key messages you need to take from the lecture allowing you to break down the material into the essential parts.
There’s a lot that gets touched on in the lectures that won’t be assessed in the exams so make sure you focus in on those when doing your notes.
Distractions are another thing to watch for, as tempting as it is to check Twitter and see if everyone is liking your photo from last night, it will still be there after the lecture.
Either put it away or put it on do not disturb – it will help you out so much in the long run.
You can also download the app Forest – it allows you to set a timer and once the timer is on you can’t go onto your phone, over the time it grows a little tree. As daft as it sounds you become attached to it after a while so definitely give that a go if you struggle with the urge to go on it all the time.
My last tip would be to make sure you are up to date with notes. If you fall behind or don’t understand something make sure to ask the lecturer or someone else on the course. As otherwise it’s difficult to catch up and you’ll start to lose track of what’s going on.
Apart from those make sure that you actually attend as many lectures as possible and really get on top of the notes. If I could give anymore advice it would be to make sure you ask your peers for any help as more often than not everyone is in the same kind of boat.