Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles The average student takes notes at a rate of one-third of a word per second. The average teacher speaks about two to three words per second. Bottom line, if you're trying to copy down everything your teacher is saying while he drones on about Shakespeare, you're going to fall seriously behind. Note-taking is an important skill in and out of school. You can make the difference between passing and failing a test, excelling at a job or even enjoying a complicated movie. And most of us don't do it well. Welcome to WellCast! We took a viewer suggestion for this week's episode—The art of note-taking. We're going to give you a three-step method for taking notes that will actually help you learn. Numerous studies over the years have proven what's already pretty obvious. People who take notes remember the material better than those who don't. But how much better? A 1970s' study by developmental psychologist Michael Howe found the students were seven times more likely to remember facts one week after hearing them if they took notes. But here's the thing, most people don't know how to take notes. We're taught from a very young age that when a teacher starts delivering a load of information... For example: "Shakespeare described Romeo and Juliet's love as star-crossed..." That we should start writing down as much what they're saying as possible. Well, this is an incredibly inefficient way to take notes. Why? You're not actually learning anything. You're simply acting as a human audio recorder. A recorder by the way that only picks up one out of every ten words. And you're saving the learning for later when you'll have an even less complete lesson plan to look over. Note-taking should actually act as a form of learning. Something that helps you work your way through the lesson as the teacher is giving it. So that when you leave the classroom (you) already understand the concepts. So how do you do that? We have a three-step method for taking the kind of notes that force you to learn the material inside the classroom and not out. Pause and print the sheet and put it in your binder. Ready for your next class... finished? Okay let's go! Step one: don't write down facts. Write down conclusions. Don't worry about capturing every single thing your teacher is saying. Spend more time listening, trying to understand the lecture. When you do start writing, format your notes as a series of questions posed by the teacher's lecture, (and then) fill in your own answers. For example, question: What is the central theme in Romeo and Juliet? Conclusion: More than being a tragic love story, Romeo and Juliet is about the consequences of deeply held grudges. This way, you're recording the importance of what the teacher is saying and not just raw facts. When you do need to include data, add only the most important points under each question. This is the evidence for each question's answer. Step two: use colored pens. Yap that's right! This will help you remember your notes visually. Also, if you establish a set template for your notes, you'll be able to take them more efficiently. Write questions in red, definitions in blue, conclusions in green. Step three: review your notes, don't relearn them. Spend at least ten minutes organizing your notes after class. Wanna test your comprehension? Try teaching the material to a classmate. This will be a great marker to see if you've actually learned anything. Note-taking is a valuable life skill that doesn't lose its utility when you graduate. Find ways to integrate note-taking in your daily life. You'll soon find yourself in the exclusive and creative group of people. Bring out their Moleskines at lectures, movies, and TED (Talks). Alright Wellcasters, let's recap. Today we learned how to take notes in a way that ensures you learn the material during class time and not after. First, write down your conclusions instead of a barrage of facts. Second, use your questions to make connections. And third, spend 10 minutes going over these notes at the end of class. And if you should choose, try going over these notes by teaching them to a classmate or friend. Who was that lady? Okay, did these tips help? Let us know! Or if (you) have a wellness topic that you'd like it to see covered, shoot us an email. We'd love to see your notes! Haha... oh man. Tweet us at watchwellcast, email us at email@example.com, or leave a comment down below—we'll see you next time!