Some people might think, “Taking notes? Not a big deal! I just write down what I hear.” If you can do that, you’re lucky. Now consider writing down only a small part of what you hear. If you know any shorthand methods , you’re lucky again. Most people don’t know shorthand. You have to take notes as effectively as possible since this is a key factor in your success on the TOEFL exam which, in turn, can be important in fulfilling your dreams of working or studying in the United States. Jaime’s excellent course can help you learn how to take notes well.
In a previous entry, I wrote about my TOEFL experiences. On the TOEFL exam there are lectures and conversations that you have to listen to in the lis-tening (obviously), speaking and writing sections. Without taking notes, you can understand the main ideas, but you probably won’t remember many details that would be important in answering the multiple choice questions in the listening section or summarizing a lecture or conversation in the speaking and writing sections. I tried the following in 2012, before I knew about Jamie’s “Right Notes” course:
- First, I did a whole listening section from the Thomson TOEFL Practice CD. I took notes as best I could. I got a score of 24 out of 30. This score showed my lack of skill in taking good notes.
- In two weeks, I forgot almost everything from these lectures and conversations. With-out taking notes, I did the same exercises again. I got a score of only 15. This meant that I did not recognize many important elements.
From my personal experience, I can tell you that taking notes is seriously important.
What can Jamie provide? Her course is called “Right Notes – Essential Concepts”. It is a 3 week online course. You can do the course in 21 days, but you get access to the learning material on the internet for six months. It's important to know that during the first three weeks of your access, you can access only one new section of material per day. You can take a look back, but you can’t jump the gun (jump the gun means ‘to start doing something too soon’). Oops, an idiom! I love American idioms, so later I’ll return to them.
But take care! Jamie doesn’t provide miracle methods. Just buying private lessons or any of her courses is NOT enough. "If you do the assignments in Right Notes or not, my life changes very little. I mean, of course I want you to be successful, but my TOEFL score doesn’t need to improve.Doing the assignments helps your TOEFL score improve." (Maximize your time by Jaime.)
Jamie teaches you the seven essential concepts of note-taking in her videos. They are filtering, abbreviations, symbols, handwriting, spelling, T-chart for dialogues, and focus-number-expand. She gives you exercises and also shows you her methods.
Let’s look at an example:
You can see Jamie’s notes of the sentences below:
What did Jamie do? She left out some technical words that don’t carry the main content and abbreviated many words. The Thomson TOEFL book and other materials give this advice as well, but they don’t provide the key to developing this skill step by step. Through the span of this course, you can develop your skills for taking notes step by step.
This course has two versions:
The ‘self-study’ version costs $37 and the ‘self-study + feedback’ version costs $120. The next feedback course begins on January 15th, 2013. If you don’t like the course, you can ask for your money back within 7 days. If you have the self-study course and you like it, you can upgrade to the 'self-study + feedback’ version at any time.
I took the TOEFL exam in 2012, but I bought Jamie’s “Right Notes” recently in December 2013. You might wonder, “Why? Do you wanna take the TOEFL exam again? You're not? Are you crazy, you threw away $37!!!???” This course is useful not only for the TOEFL exam, but in many other circumstances as well. If you encounter a situation in which you have to listen to lectures, this skill can be useful. For example, in my professional career I can take advantage of the “Right Notes” course. Maybe one day I’ll need to take the TOEFL exam again since my score expires in two years. Maybe later I might come across a situation that requires a valid exam score. In this case, the “Right Notes” course is not enough, I will need other tools as well from Jamie.
Hi Gardeniafly! How are you? What do you think about taking notes?
"I believe that learning how to takes notes well can be useful in any person's life, no matter the person's profession. When taking the TOEFL exam, it's important to realize that the exam requires you to not only know English well, but also how to take the exam well. Taking good notes is essential in doing well on the TOEFL exam and it's a part of knowing the test well. Like Attila said, you can apply the skills you learn from the “Right Notes” course in other areas of life as well. In my opinion, a successful note-taker is a successful learner!"
She is not searching new students anymore. But I can recommend someone else, or you can visit Italki.
See you later,