Take Better Notes for Studying

Take Better Notes for Studying

Take Better Notes for Studying

Take Better Notes for Studying

With students already in the midst of their spring semester, the end of the school year is much closer than most realize! For many, projects, papers, and tests are accumulating, and the workload is overwhelming.

Students can be proactive in their studies by having effective notes to rely on as study material. That said, what makes notes “effective” for studying?

Looking at the research on how students best retain information (much of which SOS4Students incorporates into its workshops and coaching), there are some clear takeaways for what works and what doesn’t.

What We Know DOES NOT Work for Note Taking
  1. Copying text word for word
  2. Simply highlighting information
  3. Re-reading
  4. Mnemonics
  5. Bullet point lists of random facts
  6. Writing out complete summaries of information
  7. Visual narratives of the information.
What We Know DOES Work Consistently
  • Rehearsal and review of material over an extended period with note cards
  • Repetition of information to solidify it in working memory
  • Connecting information to what you already know (creating context/narrative)
  • Chunking information (especially that which is novel for you and for which you have little context).
An Essential Skill

Note taking strategies are essential life skills for all students. We also have evidence that writing notes by hand (as opposed to typing) improves retention and eliminates extraneous information. If nothing else, it certainly takes away one of the main distractions for many students who type their notes (the device they’re typing on!).

⇓ Free Download—Cornell Notes is an easy and effective way for students to take notes. Download our template (.pdf).

Does Your Student Need More Support Around Notes and Studying?

SOS4Students offers note taking workshops for both middle school and high school students. Enroll your student in Take Note: Intro to Note Taking (for grades 7 and 8) and Secrets of Successful Note Taking (for grades 9-12) this summer to give them a jumpstart on the upcoming school year.

Download our SOS4Students 2024 Summer Workshops Flyer (.pdf)

All SOS4Students’ Summer 2024 Workshops

It’s never too early to begin planning for summer vacation and making time for your student to attend one or more of our popular summertime executive-function-based programs.

  • Designed to build study tools, habits, and strategies.
  • Our workshops sell out, so register before May 1, 2024, to ensure a spot and lock in early bird rates.
  • All workshops are held in-person at Lafayette Library.

GRADES 4 & 5

Junior Executive Brain Bootcamp helps 4th and 5th graders prepare for middle school by honing foundational executive function skills. Sign Up


Mastering Middle School is an intensive master workshop that prepares and teaches incoming 6th graders everything they need to know for a successful transition to middle school. Sign Up

GRADES 7 & 8

Middle School Blitz teaches students entering grades 7 & 8 the essential study strategies they need to manage increasingly complex homework, long-term assignments, and outside activities. Sign Up

Take Note: Introduction to Note Taking for Grades 7 & 8 teaches this fundamental skill to lay the groundwork for continued success in high school, college, and beyond. Sign Up


Nailing Ninth Grade prepares students and parents for the transition from middle school to high school, including how to handle increased workloads and work more independently. Sign Up

GRADES 10 to 12

Executive Brain Bootcamp teaches executive function skills and strategies high school students need to jumpstart complex tasks, plan, prioritize, and become better organized. Sign Up

GRADES 9 to 12

Secrets of Successful Note Taking demystifies the essential skill of note taking best practices for textbooks, videos, and lectures, making reading and class time more productive. Sign Up

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