Rewriting Class Notes

Teachers often emphasize the information they provide in class lectures when they design tests. This means that your class notes are a vital resource when studying for a test. It is important that your class notes be complete and accurate.

The best way to be certain that your class notes are complete and accurate is to review them in the evening while the information that was covered in class is still fresh in your mind. At this time you should rewrite your notes, correcting any errors, filling in any gaps, and adding additional information as appropriate. Rewriting your class notes also gives you the opportunity to improve their organization and to make them neater, thereby making your notes easier to study from. Further, rewriting your class notes reinforces the information so that you will remember it better.

Here are some tips to consider when you rewrite your class notes.

  • Reread your class notes two or three times before beginning to rewrite them. It is important to do this so that you have the ‘big picture’ firm in your mind.
  • Rewrite your class notes in an outline format that shows connections and relationships between various topics and key terms.
  • Question what you have written in your class notes. Make sure that what you have written makes sense and that you understand what you have written.
  • Compare your class notes with those of another student in your class.
  • Often, much of the information in a teacher’s lecture is based upon the information in the textbook. Check to be certain that the information you wrote in your class notes is consistent with corresponding information in the textbook.
  • Use sources of information other than your textbook to gain further understanding of the information in your class notes. The Internet is very helpful in this regard.
  • Change any abbreviations and symbols in your class notes into complete words and statements.
  • Highlight the most important words and concepts in your class notes.
  • Rewrite your class notes in a designated notebook that becomes a primary resource when studying for a test.
  • Jot down any questions you think you may need to ask your teacher at the next class session.

The importance of studying from class notes that are complete, accurate, organized, and neat cannot be overstated.