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ELISE | Informing your studies tutorial: Note-taking


Quiz question There may be a quiz question related to the information on this page.

Learn more study skills

Study hacks are a series of workshops for new and returning students throughout term. These sessions will help you develop key skills you need to succeed at UNSW.


You will need to develop good note-taking skills when attending lectures and while reading for assignments. The UNSW website has information on Effective Reading and Note-taking and Listening and Note-taking strategies. There are also practical techniques and tips for note-taking.

Some points to remember include:

  • use your own words to identify the key points
  • use headings to structure your notes
  • devise your own abbreviations and symbols to save time
  • use visual cues to help you remember, e.g. diagrams, graphs, pictures
  • record key points your lecturer writes on the board or presents in PowerPoint or overhead slides
  • read and revise your notes as soon as possible after class 

Tip  The Academic skills and support website has tips on note-taking using electronic devices

Tip  You can also refer to the Monash University website for more guidance

Abbreviations and symbols

Using symbols and abbreviations as you make notes while you read or when attending lectures, can help you to write better and more detailed notes.

UNSW has a list of abbreviations and symbols which you can refer to when devising your own methods for notetaking.