How to: take notes from a textbook

So I have asked a few people, and they have said a “how to” series would be good to read on this blog so I have a couple of ideas for these, but if there is anything you want to see let me know! x

I was visiting a friend as I am home from university and their younger sibling is doing their GCSE’s this summer and wondered how to take productive notes from a textbook so here are my tips for the best note taking.

  1. Use sticky notes to separate headings within the textbook- this allows you to notice how efficient your studies are as you can take out the sticky note once you have studied that heading/chapter.
  2. Read a passage from the textbook and summarise in your own words- this allows you to understand the passage in your own words (don’t forget you can add the fancy terms later).
  3. Learn vocab when you get to it- but don’t forget to learn the vocab from definition to word and vise versa
  4. Answer the exam practise questions on each spread and end of chapter questions- Practise is ESSENTIAL so you can learn what the examiner is looking for
  5. Highlight passages and reread the highlighted parts only- of course only if you own the textbook, otherwise put your main facts on sticky notes and stick them in places where you will see them!
  6. Format your notes to how the assessment objectives are in your exam, eg, language, analysis, context, critics.
  7. Add in your class notes- this is when it is good to type your notes because you can add in little sections where needed as well as able to print them out as a hard copy!
  8. Colour code your assessment objectives
  9. Understand it before you type it up!
  10. Go over and condense again into a mind map/table

So these are my tips for writing out textbook notes… you can always look for inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram.

Best wishes,

The Ophite Life xox


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