When Instructors Talk Too Fast

  1. Leave large empty spaces in your notes. Leave plenty of room for filling in information you missed. Use a signal or symbol that means you missed something so you remember to come back to it. Make the space obvious.

  2. Be willing to make choices. Look for the key points. Don’t try to write everything down. Choose what you think is important and don’t panic. Stay with the lecture, write down key words, and revise your notes immediately after class.

  3. Exchange photocopies of notes with classmates. Other students might write down something you missed, and your notes might help them. Compare notes and, if this is the case, make an agreement to exchange notes regularly.

  4. Take more time to prepare for class. Familiarity with a subject increases your ability to pick out key points. If an instructor lectures quickly or is difficult to understand, make a point of conducting a thorough preview of the material to be covered.

  5. See the instructor after class. Take your class notes with you and show the instructor what you missed. Most instructors appreciate visits from students. You can also ask questions you didn’t get to ask in class.

  6. Ask the instructor to slow down. If that seems inappropriate, ask him/her to repeat what you missed.

Edit your notes.

  1. Fill in gaps.
  2. Write a brief summary of 2 to 3 sentences.
  3. Write 3 to 4 quiz questions.