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  • Hi. Welcome back to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. Today's lesson is going to be for those of

  • you who are going to take the TOEFL or IELTS test. So just so you understand, I will be

  • speaking at a more natural speed. It will be a little bit faster than some of you are

  • used to. But listen anyway, and watch. It's very good for listening practice, and it will

  • be helpful regardless. So today's lesson is specifically about note taking skills. I'm

  • going to concentrate on the TOEFL, but it is also very useful for the people taking

  • an IELTS test. Now, if you've seen my time management class for IELTS, you will realize

  • that in the listening section, it's very important to know how to take notes. You don't want

  • to waste time concentrating on spelling and writing full words while the recording is playing

  • because you have time at the end to transfer your answers. That's when you want to write

  • correctly spelled answers and everything. You want to just make sure during the listening

  • section that you write enough to know what the word is. We're going to get into that

  • a little bit later. What I want to concentrate on mostly, though, is the TOEFL test, okay?

  • Because in the TOEFL test, it is crucial that you know how to take notes. Why? You have

  • a listening section; you have a speaking section; you have a writing section, all of which have

  • a listening component. Remember; this is an integrated test. You're going to have to listen

  • in each one of these sections. Okay?

  • In the listening section, what many people don't realize who haven't taken a test yet:

  • You don't see anything. Okay? You don't see the questions as you're listening to the lectures

  • or whatever you're listening to. So it's very, very important that you take notes as you're

  • listening so that when the questions do come, you have the information in front of you,

  • you know how to answer it, okay?

  • In the speaking section, you may be given a short conversation to listen to and then

  • be given a question, and you have to speak your answer. But if you don't remember what

  • they spoke about, then, you can't answer the question properly.

  • In the writing section, you have -- in Task 1, you have to compare a reading section with

  • a listening section. And then, you have to write an answer comparing the two. So if you

  • don't take notes during the listening component of Task 1, it's very difficult to write your

  • answer. Okay? So note taking skills -- very important throughout the TOEFL test.

  • So first of all, before we look at how to do it, let's look at what you need to concentrate

  • on as you're listening. Okay? Now, another thing to remember before I even start: This

  • takes practice. This is a skill that you have to sharpen, that you have to practice with

  • every day before you go out to take your test.

  • Okay. Now, the first mistake people make is they think -- they try to write down every

  • word they hear. Impossible. Okay? Unless you're a stenographer -- that's a person who works

  • in court and writes down every word that the people in the courtroom are saying, lawyers,

  • judges, defendants, etc., witnesses -- you cannot write every word. Don't try. You don't

  • need to write every word. You need to concentrate on the details that are important, on the

  • information that is important.

  • Now, what you need to focus on are the big, general ideas. You need to understand generally

  • what is being spoken about, what is the topic, what is the subject. For example, is it science?

  • Is it history? Is it arts? You need to understand the general ideas because they're not going

  • to ask you very, very specific questions, right? And if they do, they're going to give

  • you some information. They're going to give you something to listen to again. Or they're

  • going to give you a very specific word.

  • So, details. Do you need to concentrate on every little detail? No. You'll be writing

  • all the time, not listening. Stick to the big ideas. But -- okay, sorry. Having said

  • that, technical words -- if they give you some scientific word or some technological

  • word, do you need to know it? No. They will give it to you in the question. You will see

  • it in the question, and you'll remember, "Oh, yeah. This is the technical word." There will

  • be technical words that even native speakers have no idea how to write or what they mean

  • or what they are. You don't need to either. What you need to listen to is the explanation

  • of what the technical word refers to or means because the word itself, they will give you

  • in the questions.

  • Headings, divisions, lists: These are the most important things you're listening for.

  • For example, you're listening to a lecture in a university classroom, and the professor

  • says, "So today, we're going to look at three reasons why fracking is bad." "Fracking" -- you

  • don't need to know. From a general idea -- you will have an idea what "fracking" means. But

  • "fracking" spelling? You don't need to know. Specifically, the details of how fracking

  • works, you don't need to know. What you do need to listen to are the three reasons. So

  • he's dividing the lecture into three topics. Make sure that you create a heading for each reason.

  • So the first reason is pollution. Write down "pollution". And then you can take notes under

  • it if you need to. The second reason is expense. Write down "expense" and whatever information

  • comes after that. The third reason -- whatever. You get the gist, I think. By the way, I hope

  • you know this word, "gist". "Gist" is the general idea. That's what you're listening for.

  • If they're about to present a list, try to write down the list because this is

  • probably important, okay?

  • So in the listening section, don't sit there with your eyes closed and try to remember

  • everything you hear. You cannot do it. There will be quite a few questions for each listening section.

  • You need to make sure that you have the information on a piece of paper in front of you.

  • When you go to the TOEFL center, they will give you paper. They will give you a

  • pencil. That's what it is for: to take notes. Use it.

  • Next. In the speaking section, much shorter listening sections, but very important. What

  • are you listening for? You're listening for dates and times. For example, "Oh, yeah. Let's

  • meet next Tuesday." The "next Tuesday", you have to be careful; it's not "this Tuesday",

  • for example. Times, a.m., p.m. -- you don't need specifically 5:14; you need to understand

  • afternoon, morning, evening, etc.

  • If people are making plans, make sure you understand what the plans are. Meet here,

  • do this with these people. That's the information you want to write down. If somebody agrees

  • or disagrees with something, write that down. If somebody makes an excuse -- "Do you want

  • to come to my party next week?" "No, I can't. I have to take my mother shopping." Write

  • that down, "mother, shopping". You don't have to write, "He has to take his mother shopping."

  • No. Don't do that. "Mother, shopping" -- done.

  • Okay. Which goes with this? Accept, reject. Somebody makes an invitation. Does the person

  • accept or reject? He accepts and goes. If he rejects, make sure you know what the excuse

  • is. Okay? Because they'll ask you for that.

  • Purpose. There's going to be a meeting. Okay. Meeting -- not important. What is the meeting

  • about? Write that down. That is important. Or the reason -- reason and excuses: similar,

  • but a bit different. Reason for doing something, excuse for not doing something. Okay? So this

  • is only the listening and speaking. Let's look at the writing and section, what you

  • need to do there.

  • Okay. So now, let's look at the writing section. What are you doing in the writing section?

  • Remember that you have a short reading passage. You're given a little bit of time. You could

  • already start taking your notes as you're reading. But for some people, the reading

  • takes some time. Concentrate on the reading. Get the idea. What are the supporting, what

  • are the attacking, what is their argument. What examples are they using? Then, when you're

  • doing your listening, you're listening for -- first thing you're listening for: Are they

  • supporting or attacking the reading? Okay? Because the question is going to ask you how

  • are they supporting or attacking the reading? So this is what you have to pay attention

  • for. If they are supporting, what point are they making? If they are attacking, what are

  • the points they're making? Again, big points, major points as compared to the reading.

  • Also, if the listening uses any names, like a company name or a person's name as an example

  • of supporting or attacking, try to write down that name. This will get you a lot of points

  • with the graders if they can see that you wrote down the name and used it in your short essay.

  • Examples. Any examples that they use to support or attack? Again, don't give me all the details,

  • but give me the general idea of the example, especially if the example was also used in

  • the reading. Okay? And then, use all of these in your little essay to show the differences.

  • So now you know what you're listening for. Now, the hard part is actually doing the note

  • taking, the writing things down. You're going to be learning how to use codes. Now, before

  • I go over some of these, it's very, very important that you understand that these are some examples

  • I'm giving you. You need to create your own codes that work for you. If I'm taking notes

  • on an essay -- on the listening section, for example -- I know what all these mean. These

  • are my codes. You might not know what this means, "w/". You may have to practice a little

  • while until you remember it. But make your own codes, something that you will remember

  • when it's time to use it for the listening section, the speaking section, the writing

  • section.

  • So here's a little sample of codes. Some of these, you know from your texting on your

  • phone. You will never have to use LOL, OMG, BBF on the TOEFL, but good to know that they work.

  • I have a b; I have a 4 -- b4. I have an L; I have an 8 -- L8. Add an R -- L8R. Okay?

  • Up -- go up, increase, raise, grow. Down -- go down, decrease, decelerate, slow down, whatever

  • you need. Anything that shows going down, anything that shows going up.

  • 4 -- why did he go to the store? For milk -- 4 milk. Etc.

  • 2 -- could be "to", "too", or "two". Although very rarely will you have to actually worry

  • about numbers because that's details.

  • Times -- five X as many. So there are five times as many people in that class as this

  • class. So five X people. That's it. Class A, B, 5X -- that's it.

  • Minus, less. Plus, in addition. Up 2-- means maximum. Down 2 -- minimum. Approximately

  • -- this is my sign. It means not equal, but close to. So approximately. Greater than -- A

  • is more than B. Less than. Equal. With something. Without something.

  • H2O. What is "H2O"? You dink it every day. Water. Any little code that you can use to

  • help you write things quickly and remember things quickly, especially things like this

  • -- TOEFL for some reason loves science things. They love science lectures. They love science

  • articles. Be very comfortable with those because you're going to see a lot of them.

  • Now, the next thing we're going to look at is abbreviations, which are just as important

  • as the codes. And again, something that you're going to have to practice and work on, but

  • I'll give you a little bit of a sample to get you started.

  • Okay. So now we get into the area where it's really more up to you to create your own master

  • list and practice it and study it so on test day, you can use it and not have any problems.

  • We're looking at abbreviations. An "abbreviation" means taking a word and squeezing it, making

  • it shorter. So the abbreviation for abbreviation is "abbr." Okay? Abbreviation. The most important

  • thing to remember is that you must remember what "abbr." means. If I see "abbr." In any

  • document, I will automatically understand this means "abbreviation". Some of these are

  • very common. Everybody used them. Some of them, you will have to make your own, and

  • I'll show you how to do that as well.

  • So for example, you have to be careful sometimes. You have to make yourself little changes,

  • like with a dot. So "inc." if I have only "inc" without a dot, I understand "increase".

  • Okay? If I see "inc." with a dot, I understand "incorporate". Okay? Same with "co" without

  • a dot is "company"; "co." with a dot -- "corporation". Or "cor." -- depends how you want to do it.

  • Now, sometimes, you have some of them that look very similar, only one letter difference,

  • right? "App" for me means "application". "Appt" means "appointment". "Acct" means "account".

  • "Accm" means "accommodation". "Accp" means "accompany". "Act" -- "active" or "action".

  • You also have the shortened version of Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms., and Dr. Okay?

  • Sometimes, you can use the slash. Everything, nothing. Something, somewhere, anywhere, etc.

  • Whatever. "Etc." means "and so on like that". "Ie." means "in other words", so you

  • can use another way of saying the same thing. "Eg." means "example". So if you hear, for

  • example, in the listening, you do "eg.", and then write the example. "n.b.", nota bene,

  • means "note well", means very important point. Keep that in mind. If somebody in the lecture

  • says "n.b." or "nota bene", make sure you write down what he or she says. President,

  • chairman, etc.

  • Make your own list. If you're not sure how to do it, the easiest way is take any word;

  • take out all the vowels. So you have the word "responsible". How are you going to write

  • it as an abbreviation? I'll just write "rsp", responsible. But I would remember that "rsp"

  • means "responsible". Or if you want to just put one -- sorry. "Resp" -- "resp" sounds

  • like " responsible". Okay? So remember it that way.

  • Another thing you can use -- another way to remember these things and take notes is using

  • acronyms. Acronyms are basically the initials of something. Each letter stands for something.

  • B.A., Bachelor of Arts. B.Sc, I forgot to write down. "Bachelor of Science". B.Ed, Bachelor

  • of Education, and so on. Master of Arts. PhD. -- doctorate or post-graduate.

  • IBM -- International Business Machine, big company name. CIA -- Central Intelligent Agency,

  • in the States. IRS -- Internal Revenue Services, part of the tax company of the government.

  • a.m. -- morning. p.m. -- afternoon or evening. But notice here, "p.m." with dots and "PM"

  • without the dots or the dot is after. "p.m." -- afternoon, evening. "PM." -- "prime minister".

  • Okay? So all these little things have a huge impact. But once you master how to do this

  • -- and believe me; it takes a lot of practice. Once you know how to do this, then you can

  • go into the TOEFL test; your listening section becomes much easier, speaking section, writing

  • section. Everything is much easier because you have the information in front of you when

  • it's time to answer the questions. Okay?

  • Now, we're just going to do one more thing. I'm going to show you an example. We're going

  • to take a complicated sentence, sort of. I'm going to reduce it to code, and you'll see

  • more or less how it's done. It's not easy, but let's look at it.

  • Okay. So now we're going to look at an example. Now, first of all, keep in mind you're seeing

  • this; you're not hearing it -- two very different things. But I just wanted to give you an idea

  • of what I want you to practice doing, and you can of course do that on your own. Lots

  • of places to do it. I'll give you a couple examples. I'm going to redo the sentence,

  • and then I'm going to show you how this area means the same thing. Okay? You're not necessarily

  • going to have to write this much detail. You're not going to have to write down a whole sentence,

  • but just to show you how it works.

  • "With the advent of the information age, as well as widespread access to this information

  • via technological advances in communication, came a new threat for civil protection agencies to tackle."

  • Now, if you're taking the TOEFL, you should know what everything means. It should be not

  • -- "advent" means, like, think about "advance", something is progressing. "Tackle" means,

  • basically, "fight". "Threat", something that's dangerous to you or could be harmful to you.

  • But anything else, you really should know all these words if you're ready for the TOEFL.

  • Okay?

  • So what did I do here? The advent of information. The increase in -- or the going up, in this

  • case "advances" -- information technology, communication. New threat for cops -- civil

  • protection agencies, what are they? They're cops, police. Cops to fight.

  • Everything here in a short little thing like this, this takes you ten seconds to write.

  • Meanwhile, you can continue listening and go on to other things. Okay?

  • Now, again, I will say this a thousand times if I have to. You need to practice this. This

  • is not easy to do quickly. You need to do this and continue listening at the same time.

  • In the speaking and writing sections especially, you're listening for specific things that

  • may play into the question that's coming. Right? You can practice all these. Now, if

  • you know www.ted.com, it's a good website. There are lots of lectures. CNN also. You

  • can go get listening sections -- you can listen to news or you can listen to lectures, but

  • they also have transcripts, okay? So you can practice your note taking skills, listen two,

  • three, four times -- as many times as you need. Take notes. Then, look at the transcripts

  • and compare your notes to the transcripts. How close do you come? And believe me; the

  • more you do it, the better you'll get at it, just like anything else. It's a skill at the

  • end of the day. And it's a very important skill if you want to succeed on the TOEFL test. Okay?

  • Now, if you go to www.engvid.com, I'll give you a few more examples like this. I'll give

  • you some sentences like this, and you'll try to match them to the correct long sentence

  • and vice