Do you recommend taking textbook notes?

  • yes

    Votes: 7 36.8%
  • no

    Votes: 12 63.2%

  • Total voters
Mar 30, 2010
All thru undergrad, I've been making textbook notes for all my classes (especially for ochem classes). I've been finding that it's getting more and more difficult to get the results I use to with the new courseload.

I've tried making flashcards and thought maps but it seems that any form of textbook notetaking is very time consuming and still results in subpar marks.

Do you recommend making textbook notes?
What sorts of study techniques do you use?
(I usually sell my textbooks at the end of the year so annotating the book or highlighting is not an option)



Renowned Wolf
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2009
Philadelphia, PA
Medical Student
My strategy is go through handouts/powerpoint first. Then go to a board review book for either further explanation or to review the material in an organized way. After I go through the relevant chapters or sections in the board review book, I go and do the practice questions in the said book (if there are any).

Over the weekend, look through handouts again and then read through board review book again. Then do practice questions from the back exams.

It has been working pretty well for me so far. Every now and then, I change it up and look through online flash cards or listen to recorded lectures.
Mar 9, 2010
Spook City, USA
Medical Student
I read the text for almost every class, but there's often material that the teacher will not test you on. Is it good to know it? Yeah sure, it might be useful down the road.

But if it isn't going to help you on the test it's of lower priority.

Know the class notes/powerpoints first and foremost, then expand upon them if you have time, I would think taking notes out of the text could be exceedingly tedious.

Unless of course your teacher's lesson plans come verbatim from the book, in which case it should would take a more central role.


Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
Resident [Any Field]
I take notes from my reading materials to compact it down or to put the words into a format that's easier for me to comprehend if that's what I feel I need to do.

For instance if I have 20 different lectures on the basics of 20 different viruses, I might just make one spreadsheet comparing all of them to make it easier on myself.