【Study】Tip of Taking Note (Be aware of enhancing the quality of “Output”)

Recently we have come across lots of articles, titled “東大生ノート(Tokyo University students’ Notebook)”on web or at the bookstore. To improve the efficiency of study, it is very important to take notes, and at the same time to be aware of enhancing the quality of “Output.”

“I have read the textbook many times, but I cannot solve the questions at the exam.”

“I had underlined all keywords, but I cannot recollect them.”

These are all because our process of “Input” does not work properly and efficiently when we learn the new things.

【Input and Output】

In our brain, there are two important process occurred when we learn the new things.

“Learn the new things, digest and absorb them, and memorize them” = “Input”

“Explain them by our own words, or solve the questions” = “Output”

【The examples of Bad Input】

“I am copying all the things on the blackboard at class.”

“I am reading the textbook many times.”

Just “watching”, “listening”, and “reading”, these are not good methods of “Input,” because

through these workloads we do not stimulate our brain at all (= zero efficiency).

【We often tend to do…】

―Subjects such as “language” or “history,” which require memorizing―

✖I only underline the keywords on the textbook.

△Usually, I copy the things from the text books or teacher’s writings on the blackboard, but edit them on my notebook beautifully.  For example, first of all write and emphasize some keywords by red colored pen, secondly cover with the red plastic sheet, and try to remember what the words are. (→This has a bit improvement…)

However, in this situation, we memorize only “keywords.” Furthermore, the process of merely underlying or focusing on only keywords can be the psychological trap, which makes our arms very exhausted, and it gives us the distorted satisfaction making us feel “I have studied a lot.”


In addition to editing the notebook, let’s try more additional and useful method. For example, in case of studying “History,” we will learn the new historical accident, and at the same time summarize “correlation” of another historical events.  In case of “English,” let’s try practicing the translation using just new vocabulary just you had learned….  When we take notes, devising a way to study, these tips will stimulate our brain more, and above all enable us kept things in the long-term memory.

―Subjects such as “Math” or “Physics,” which requires  the basic understanding or logics―

△Work on sample questions on the textbook.


・While solving the questions (going through the process of calculation), write down where we will make the mistakes a lot.

・During the class, carefully listen to the teacher, and what points will be most likely to be questioned at the exam.

・Practice a lot, so as to explain its calculation process to the others.

 The methods written above are very important.

【Summary】When you take a note…

・Stop “merely copying.”

・While you are studying, always be aware of enhancing the quality of “Output”

(What you will be questioned at the exam.)

・If you succeed to stimulate your brain during the process of “Input,” then apparently your quality of “Output” (the exam’s result or understanding) will enhance as well.

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