What is it like taking notes at university?

As I finish the second week of my third year at university, I thought it would be useful to share how I take notes during lectures. Although I took lots of notes during college and secondary school, one particular skill I didn’t use much was multi tasking. Typical note taking at university involves listening to a lecturer talk and, while they are doing this, taking notes. This was something I needed to adapt to. In the past teachers have allowed me time to take notes before transitioning to the next topic. At university, this tends to happen less in the majority of lectures. For students that prefer not to multi-task when note taking, lectures are recorded so students can review them in their own time. I use this tool a lot, and even get surprised at the amount of information I miss. Below is an example of what a recording would look like from the internet portal known as Q-review , which is accessible to all QMUL students.

QREVIEW lecture

Image 1: On the left screen are the lecture notes and on the right screen there is a recording of the lecturer in person.

When I am concerned about missing out on too much information during lectures, there is no need for me to worry, as most lecturers also provide lecture notes beforehand that students can use. For example, there is currently a module I study that has a lot of theory, and I find it useful that the lecture notes have dedicated space for me to write my own notes. You can see an example below of lecture notes I printed out this week:

Image 2: Example of lecture notes with my own annotations.

Image 2: Example of lecture notes with my own annotations using s the space provided.

In addition to lecture notes, instead of writing on removable paper pads, I buy blank exercise books like you may have at college/school now. These are very useful for easy access to information when needed, especially if you want to avoid having lots of loose paper from different subjects. Below are notes I took using my exercise book:

Image 3: Extra notes taken from a lecture.

Image 3: Extra notes taken from a lecture.

If you would like to see more examples of lecture notes, a simple internet search will give you many examples to look at. In a future blog, I will also be talking about the online platform, students at QMUL use, known as QMplus.

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