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Why should you take notes in Economics?

When your Economics exam knocks at your door, there is just one saving grace that works wonders, even more than the textbooks – your own Economics Notes; the scribbles that you either hurriedly made in your notebook when the teacher explained the dd-ss framework, slide after slide, at a super fast pace, or even the ones that you took down carefully, blending the teacher’s inputs with your own comprehensive understanding of the topic. Believe it or not, these notes set you aside from the others.

Economics, as a subject, mandates studying through references, which can be best-articulated through personal notes. The study material remains constant, more or less, but the additional points that you write give you an added advantage over the other answer scripts that do nothing but increase the monotony in the paper checker’s life. Hence, to put a point forward, note taking is not something that has cropped out of nowhere. It is an art that has tremendous utility.

10 things to remember while taking Economics notes

Taking Economics Notes

Image Credits: Flickr

There are some pointers that you need to keep in mind before you master the art of Note-Taking.

  1. Go one word at a time  It is obvious, that one cannot possibly remember each point that the lecturer talks about in class. Hence, writing down keywords help during discussions. In economics, there are many graphs and charts, which have their own set of explanations, markings, and demarcations. Drawing the chart, in a rough manner, with the correct labels, can go a long way. Economics comprises of several jargons too, so noting them down helps as well.
  1. Always have a separate textbook for your notes  Many people have the tendency to take down notes in sheets of paper, that lose their existence in a day or two. Maintaining a thin copy of all your notes not only facilitates better compilation but also helps you in your revision. It saves up on time, as all your pointers are present in the same place.
  1. Do not get too fancy with the words and illustrations  Notes are extremely personal and every person’s perspective of taking points down will be different and unique. Trying to beautify the words and writing them in a very sophisticated manner not only defeats the purpose of note taking but also confuses you when you actually start going through them. The terms used and the layout should be such that it acts as a catalyst for faster retention and understanding. Remember, these points are for you to make your life simpler, not for the press.
  1. Always keep the source file handy  As already mentioned, people tend to make notes when the lectures are going on. In all probabilities, one might miss out on some very crucial points. Hence, in order to prevent inconveniences, you should always keep the presentation or the lecture guide handy. The purpose of notes is not to render these materials redundant but to facilitate understanding by providing a summary of the matter in one or many words. For instance, if you have successfully mapped the demand and supply curve, but the teacher changes the slide before you could mark the axis, the whole effort goes in vain as, without the axis, the graphs mean nothing. Having the source handy can help in this mess.
  1. Try and remember what you have already noted  Time is very important and to save it, you must be diligent while taking down notes. Going in circles, that is, repeating the same point, again and again, will not only waste time but also create issues when you study them.
  1. Always have a supporting graph or table to emphasize the point further  It has never only been about words. To a large extent, visual representation not only makes the work attractive but tends to promote retention. However, that does not mean that you must make it look phenomenal. It has to be such that it puts across the point in a decent and crisp manner.
  1. Write what matters  Not everything is worth noting down. There are times when the lecturer keeps explaining the same thing again and again or there are points that are irrelevant. Noting down will do no good. So skip all that you can so as to make your notes to the point, crisp and viable.
  1. Get creative  Make your own lingo while taking down Economics notes. Use star ( * ) for something that is important. Use a hash ( # ) for something that needs revision. Use a bracket () to mark those areas that you need to understand again and spend time on. These symbols are for you to segregate all the material in a realistic and relevant manner based on your preparedness of the same.
  1. Do not just depend on the material given in class or assigned texts  It is okay to go a little ahead once in a while. Instead of solely banking on the class lectures, you must spend some time in the library working on your study material. It further enhances your Economics notes and helps you polish your understanding of the subject. A little research, analysis, and time management have always been the crux of not only economics, as a discipline, but also of success.
  1. See where you are sitting in class  This is important because you will be required to make or copy things that are present on the projector. If the board is not visible, there are high chances that you might miss out some crucial points.

Other pro tips to keep in mind while preparing Economics notes

  • Use short forms that are understandable.
  • Use a tick symbol for the area that has been done.
  • Try and separate your notes subject wise, in a chronological manner.
  • Underline to re emphasize important points.
  • Do not go overboard with the words and jargons. Keep it simple and short.

Keeping all these points in mind and furnishing your skills will help you master the art of note-taking, especially in Economics, and enable you to have an edge over all others. Also check out the Economics sample papers here.

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