Note taking is not about simply jotting down points dictated by the teacher mindlessly; only to find it largely incoherent at a later point. This is an art that is employed to retain whatever has been studied in a more effective manner. Taking down notes after you have finished with a particular chapter helps you to retain information and also helps you to recollect the gist at a glance.
Also, while it may seem like an effort initially, if you take a moment to reflect on what the teacher has been explaining and only note down the gist of the concept in your own words, it can have a profound impact on how the knowledge is absorbed. This means you will really have to pay keen attention while the class is on and note down only important points.
An effective method of note taking is the use of various colours, and diagrams to highlight key words and map the information in a concise yet coherent manner. This is also known as colour coding and mind map. Mind maps work out to be effective tools to summarize large chunks of information and help you collate the data in a simple manner.
Use of different colours improves the recall time. Choose a specific colour for a specific theme or topic; the brain relates the colour with the particular information and it will be easier to recall the topics. This method can especially work when the subject is a little dry or boring.