In this video, Kevin from Magoosh talks about note taking. It is an extremely important skill, especially when you have a long, complex text to deal with. Note taking activates your mind; it gives you something to do and a little bit of extra focus. Also, it allows you to use your short-term memory and put bits of information down immediately, without having to retain them over a long period.

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Don’t worry about length

Don’t worry about length at first. You will improve as you practice. If you think you take too many notes, try to focus on the main idea, structure and purpose of the text. Always think about the main idea, i.e. what is this passage all about? By structure, Kevin explains that you should try to figure out the relationship of ideas, from paragraph to paragraph. And finally, what is the author’s purpose? Is the author describing something, is the author arguing about something?

To make better use of the video and learn more about GMAT note taking skills, read this passage, which Kevin uses as an example. He demonstrates how you can take shorter notes on test day to save time. You don’t even need to spell them correctly. It’s enough for them to be just there to remind you of the main idea. It’s kind of like a visual tool to make something click something in your mind.

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No paper and pen

Don’t use a paper and a pen when you are practicing. Instead, mimic the test and use a dry-erase marker and a small board. It is a little strange to take notes with such utensils, but it’s just how things are on the GMAT.

Watch the video, start practicing your test taking, and good luck!