note making strategies for TOFEL listening section

6 Effective Note Making Strategies for TOEFL Listening Section

In the TOEFL Listening section, audio passages are played and then at the end of each passage, questions are asked. The audio is not repeated alongside the questions therefore taking notes is very important to answer the questions correctly.

Taking effective notes is not as easy as it sounds. You need to practice well for it. There are various TOEFL Coaching Centres in Chandigarh that help you be very precise and efficient in note-making so that you score well in the TOEFL listening section.

Given are some simple strategies that are proven to be effective for efficient note making.

1. Listen carefully

The most important thing is to listen to the audio passage very carefully. Make sure that you don’t just hear it. When you hear something, you might not remember it for long and you won’t understand it properly because while hearing you do not focus; only your ears work not your brain. But when you listen, you use your brain and your ears simultaneously, therefore you understand and remember whatever you listen.

Keep yourself away from any distractions that may occur while you are listening. Distractions will hinder your focus.

2. Keep a balance

You must take as much notes as possible because this will help you in answering the questions but remember not to stop listening while you write.

You need to find a balance between your writing and listening in such a way that you do not skip any line. You may take lesser notes if you are not able to write more but listening is more important.

3. Build writing speed

In the audio passage, the speed of the speaker is normal. It is neither too fast nor too slow. They speak in the speed as the normal folks do. Also you do not get any extra time for your note making. Therefore, you need to develop a good writing speed to write more. The more you write the better.

The best way to develop this writing speed is by practicing. Take as much practice tests as possible. TOEFL Coaching Centres in Chandigarh help you improve your skills and provide you with practice tests to develop a good speed.

4. Use signs and symbols

Signs and symbols are very helpful in your not making process. They take up most of the words so that you write less but you can cover everything in a very short time. You can use sign and symbols for common words or phrases.

For instance, the upward arrow can be used to express an increase, growth, profit etc. This will not take up much time but you will understand what it means.

To be good at this skill, you should practice it while you solve the practice tests. Use as many symbols as possible and memorize them so that you can make use of it in the exam.

5. Use columns

There maybe be audio passages in which there is more than one speaker. In this case writing the name or the title of the speaker again and again will consume your time and you might also get confused.

In such cases, the best way is to make columns while taking the notes. The speakers can be Student 1 and Student 2, Student and teacher, two friends etc. In each, you can make separate columns for both and then can write the notes under their title. This will reduce your time and also will help you to identify any contrast or similarity, if present.

6. Note Key words and concepts

You need not write whole line played in the audio passages. For some sentences, only one word or phrases can help you understand the meaning. Therefore, in such cases you must be tactful and know what to write.

Make sure that you identify the keywords and the main concepts and write them. If you do not take notes for everything, it is fine, but you must take notes for the keywords and important concepts as they will help you answer the questions.

Also put the main focus on the structure of the audio passage as you might find some questions linked to it.


Prepare for you TOEFL Exam with New Cambridge College, the best TOEFL Coaching Centre in Chandigarh. With best facilities and experienced teachers, they prepare you to score aces in the TOEFL Listening exam. Also, they help you develop skills that prove to be useful in your daily routine.

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