Taking Better Notes Go to class. Note services are no substitute. Someone else's notes can contain fundamental errors, even with professional note takers. The physical act of writing helps some students remember information. It's not "uncool" to sit up front. Most professors don't bite (certainly not very hard). At the very least you'll hear everything clearly. Some rooms are big and some profs. are very soft spoken. Prime your mind before going to class. Review the material from the textbook. This lets you become a little familiar with terms and images that may be covered in class. Also spend a little time trying to fit the upcoming material into the context of similar information you are already familiar with. This forces you to think about the upcoming material and see it in more familiar terms. It's hard to take accurate notes on a topic that you know absolutely nothing about. Develop a shorthand system for taking notes. Don't write in complete sentences. It takes too long and you'll miss information. The notes can even look sloppy as long as you know what your abbreviations mean. (nots can lok slppy if u kno abbrevs) Spend some time after class rewriting your notes. This allows you to decipher your shorthand while the material is fresh. It also permits another chance to read over the material. Some students find that this simple of writing act helps them to remember the material better.
Don't take down every word the professor says. Don't take down every word the professor says. No every word prof says. Focus on key points and supporting facts.
Learn how to read the lecturer. With practice you can tell what they think is important. If something is repeated many times or they say "Here's a key point", make a note of it. Ask teachers to slow down if the pace is too fast. Most professors don't realize how fast they are going. Ask permission to use a tape recorder if the pace is too quick for you. Some classes tape the lectures and make them available in the library. Get immediate clarification during class. If you don't understand, odds are other students don't either. Ask questions. Usually others are just as confused as you. If you're too shy, at least ask after class or during office hours.