Maths Degree Lecture Notes 📝🙇🏻‍♀️| How To Take Notes At Uni | TheKingBeth

Maths Degree Lecture Notes 📝🙇🏻‍♀️| How To Take Notes At Uni | TheKingBeth


Hello everybody, welcome back. Today I’m
gonna be talking you through how I took notes at uni. So if you don’t know, I’ve
just finished, well like six months ago, I just finished my degree in maths and
there aren’t really that many videos on YouTube about maths at uni level. So I
know quite a lot of people are curious about how to take notes for maths at uni
level because they’re not really the sort of thing you can type. You want it
all to be very ordered and clear but it’s all gotta be handwritten. So I’m
gonna show you today how I wrote my notes, and how I kind of managed them, my colour coding system, how I kept them all organised. Even though I’m finished uni
now, at the time that I finished I was just kind of relieved that it was over
and I was just…. I just wanted to be out of education. There is a part of me
that’s slowly coming out that kind of misses it. And I hate that because I know,
in reality, how stressful studying was. But I just.. mostly I think I miss
writing notes because I love making things look pretty, I love making
everything neat and organising things, filing them in the right places. And now
I don’t have that I’m feeling a bit lost, because I was in education for almost 18
years and that was my whole life and now I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s very
weird not having like a structure, I’m so used to having like my year from
September to like July, June or July. I have so much freedom and I don’t know
what to do with it, it’s weird. Anyway enough of that, let’s just get
onto the video. So the way I took notes at uni was I used refill pads. So I’d
just buy pads of paper with lines and pre- hole punched. I would just take that to
the lectures and write my notes on that, and then when I got home I would
transfer them into the relevant folders. A lot of people on my course would have
like a ring-bound notebook for each module they took, and then they would
just write their notes in that notebook. But the reason I chose to write mine on
paper and then put them in a folder, like something like that, is because then I
had the freedom to take pages out, rewrite them, if I’d missed a lecture
then I wouldn’t matter, I could just write the notes up for that later and
slot them in. Whereas if you wrote your lecture notes in a notebook and you’d
missed a lecture you’d have to leave a gap, kind of guessing the size of the gap
you wanted to leave for that lecture you missed. And then either there would be
too much content to fit in the gap and it would get really tiny and scrawny and
messy. Or you would fill it up and there would be a gap left. And both of those
things, like, they’re not a big thing necessarily, but for me I like my notes to
be clear, neat, look pretty, so I decided that that wasn’t the method for me
and that I prefer to have a refill pad. Being able to tear out pieces of paper,
rewrite things if they didn’t look nice, slot in extra pieces of paper for
things that I’d missed, it just gives me a lot more freedom. So I haven’t actually
looked at these since I did my exams, so this is gonna be a bit of a sort of
rewind for me. But these are my previous four modules for my last semester at uni.
Let’s see if I can remember these. This was Hilbert Spaces, this was Statistical
Methods, that was… that was French, and then this would have been Integral
Transform Methods. Oh no, that stats, so that’s integrals,
forgetful! What I would usually do is print out a little label to stick on
here with the name of the module, so that I wouldn’t get confused like I just did.
By the time I got to my last term I just had a lot on my plate and I just didn’t get
around to doing it. I don’t know if you can see but the spines on all of these
folders are completely knackered because I’ve put a new label on each term for
each different semester that I did because I just reuse these folders. What I actually
did was at the end of a semester, once I was done with the notes, I transfer all of
them into like one big lever arch file like this. These are literally just printed on
a piece of pink paper in a sort of pretty font so they look a
bit nice, and then I just literally use sticky tape to stick them on. So we’ll
get to those again in a second. As you may have noticed, I did take a French
module last semester, which I did.. I really enjoyed, I really like doing French.
But obviously notes for French and notes for maths are very different so I’m not
going to talk about this, because it’s not my usual kind of method for writing
notes. It’s got things like a lot of sort of printout sheets, and worksheets, and typed
things. I typed things! It’s like being at school, like there’s my times.
Maybe one day I’ll talk a bit more about how I’m learning French because I’m
still doing that and I do have a really pretty notebook with all my French
grammar and vocab in. So maybe one day I’ll show you that, but for now let’s put
this over there, we’ll ignore it. I can only assume that all maths courses are
the same, because I don’t think maths lecturers tend to have much imagination.
Usually a maths lecturer has like a giant PDF document with all their notes typed
up and then in the lectures they kind of just write them on the blackboard and
maybe explain a little bit. For a lecture, what I would tend to do is I would take my
refill pad, I would take my pencil case which is in here. So I’d have my
calculator which I’ve literally had since Year 7. It’s still going strong.
I’ve had this for so long that all the numbers had rubbed off, and I could still
use it, like, I knew where the numbers were so I just could do it
anyway without looking. But because of exams I thought, I didn’t want to take
that risk and accidentally press all the wrong buttons, so I stuck stickers on for
that, but before that there were just blank number buttons. This
calculator has seen me through so much: my GCSEs, my A-Levels, my university. The
battery hasn’t died yet, it’s amazing. Then I’ve got this pencil case. I can’t
guarantee that it’s still… yeah it’s about the same as what it was when I was
at uni. These are my preferred pens, or at least they were for third year. They’re
the BIC Round Stic M in blue. I bought a big multi pack of these and I really
like them. They write really well. A pen is a pen, really, I just liked them all to
be consistent so that’s why I just used these ones. The next most important thing
for my notes is this pen. This is also I think a BIC pen. It’s one of them ones with
the four colours, so we’ve got purple, pink, blue and green. And I have had this
I think since college and it’s still going strong. I use it for everything.
Sometimes I write whole pages in a certain colour. But for the most part, I
use these four colours for underlining things, writing headings. I’ll come onto
that a bit more in a little bit because I have a color scheme. I think it works
really well for me so I want to talk about that in a bit more detail. On the
subject of underlining things, I also have a ruler. I don’t think I ever used
this as an actual measuring tool, because who would?! But it’s for
underlining things, sometimes I’d use a protractor, or a set square, whatever
there was, until I lost one or it snapped and then I would just find
something else. I have a mechanical pencil and a rubber. I would very rarely
use pencil to write anything. Sometimes, if I was drawing a graph or
something, I’d use it. But most of all I would use the pencil to write a little
asterisk in the margin if there was something that I didn’t finish writing
down in time before the lecturer wiped it off the board, because they write so fast
somehow. And then later on, when I had some time, I would go through my notes
and fill in all the gaps from the lecture notes online. I have some post-it
notes, these are the big rectangular ones. I’ve also got some tiny little sort
of memo ones. So if there was, again, something that I’d missed I might put
one of those in there, or something that I needed to learn or look over or try
and understand a bit more, maybe I would put one of those in to be like “look at
this!” And these I would use for all sorts of things really. At the beginning of a
semester when you’re starting new modules and they’re giving you all the
sort of information about when assignments were due, the lecturers
email, stuff like that, I might write those on this and then, like I’ve done
here, I would stick it on the inside cover and I would you some pretty washi tape, because why not? These also come in really handy when lecturers are working
from printouts of lecture slides rather than hand writing things on the board. I
personally am not a fan of that, I find it a lot more helpful to write things
out myself because that makes it go into my brain. But sometimes they give out
lecture slides and you can kind of annotate them and sometimes there’s not
enough space. In that case I would write the annotations, or an extra proof, or
an example, on these and kind of stick them around where these slides are on
the paper. I’m not really a fan of that method but when that’s how the lecturer
is lecturing it’s kind of hard to write your own notes from lecture slides like
that, especially for maths when there are so many symbols and different little
Greek letters which will look the same to me. I also had some tippex because
you never know when you’re going to need tippex, especially when you’re doing loads of little fiddly things, with epsilons and etas and thetas and zetas. You can get confused
very easily so tippex is always useful to have on hand. I personally would love
to have enough time to be able to rewrite everything so there are
no mistakes, because tippex is not the same colour as paper and it bugs me. But I
don’t have infinite time and when you’re doing a degree, time is very precious, so
tippex it is! Finally, this is probably my favourite ever stationery discovery. These
pastel highlighters have changed my life. These are the Stabilo highlighters in
their kind of pastel range. They do a pack of 4 which is blue, pink, green and
purple, and then they also do a pack of 6, where you also get the orange and
the yellow. Unless you need six colours, go for the pack of four because these two
don’t look as nice. But I wanted all six so I got all six. I have to thank Juliet
because she got me hooked on them and I love them. So that’s my stationery. I would
take that pencil case, with my calculator and my refill pad. If there were any
printed lecture notes, I would sometimes bring those as well, depending on how
much space I had in my bag. It depends on the lecture style and everything, but
quite often what happens is there’s like a really important thing you need to
write down, like a theorem, and they skip through it really fast, and you’re trying
to write but you just can’t keep up, and it goes off the board. And then the
lecturer spends like 20 minutes going through, like, some trivial proof, or
something that’s not examinable. I hate when they spend so long going through
non-examinable things! But what I would do in that time, instead
of listening, would be to like catch up on any notes I missed, because, I mean,
that seemed to happen quite often so it saved me a lot of time. Other note-taking
options – like I said, a lot of people would have one notebook for each subject,
others would have one sort of project… what are they called? Project notebooks?
Where it’s one notebook that they’ve got sort of dividers between each thing. Some people,
somehow, used their laptops. I don’t know what they were/ how they were taking
notes, because you can’t really write maths, you can’t type maths, like that’s
just not possible, especially in a fast-paced environment like in a
lecture. So maybe they were just sort of reading along with the lecture notes, I
don’t know. And some people would have a tablet and they would write their
notes by hand but on the tablet. That looked really cool. It would be nice to
have no paper clutter but I think personally this note-taking method is
probably the best thing for me. I want to go through my colour scheme because I
love my colour scheme. I share it with everyone. So these are my Hilbert Spaces
notes from last semester. The first bit on the inside cover of the folder I have
any important things, so this is my assignment due date and the class test
date. Each of the chapter names I write in blue, and then for each subchapter i
would underline that in pink, so I knew when we would be starting a new topic or
a new subtopic. And then if there was a sub sub topic, I would underline that
with one single blue line. To me, this all makes complete sense to me.
You might just be thinking, like, what?? Like, they’re just lines, doesn’t matter. But to me, it was very clear. For a definition I would write D E F at the beginning and
underline that, then I would write the definition and either highlight or
underline in green the important parts, the bits that I needed to remember.
Theorems, lemmas, corollaries, that kind of thing, I would write theorem / lemma /
corollary, underline that blue, then highlight in blue any kind of formula or
anything that I would need to remember. If there was like a really important
statement or something that I knew would have to be embedded in my brain for the
exam, that would get highlighted in pink because you know I love pink so anything
with pink would just stand out to me. So that was my kind of mind game I was
playing on myself. Finally I’d underline any examples with purple, because purple
was my least favourite colour on that Bic pen. It was too dark, it was too similar
to the colour of my actual writing pen so I didn’t really like it, I only used on examples.
The yellow and the orange highlighter, like I said, I wasn’t really as keen on them so I didn’t really use them as a
standard colour. They didn’t really mean anything necessarily, because I didn’t
really like how they looked, because they weren’t as pastel as the other four
colours, and to me that mattered. If there were an algorithm I had to know, or when
I was doing graph theory I think I did sort of the graphs in yellow and orange
sometimes. They were just there as like extra colors if I needed them really.
Once I’ve got all my notes, so these are all the things I would like write in
lectures, and that would be everything that was kind of examinable, everything I
would need to know for the exam would kind of, at this point, be highlighted or
underlined so I could easily pick out the points. I’ve also got a divider here.
This side of the divider any exercise sheets, coursework, tutorial work would all
go in here. So kind of more like practice questions and stuff like that. None of
this stuff looks anywhere near as pretty. It’s all messy, things are scribbled out.
It’s me actually doing work rather than just writing notes, so as you would
expect it’s a lot messier. This side’s more for reference and this side is more
for practice and actual understanding, if that makes sense. So those are my notes,
that’s kind of my method of how I would take notes. In terms of like questions to
do, at my uni and on my course, we would be set like a weekly set of exercises to do
that weren’t marked, they weren’t worth anything. But we would go through them in
tutorials and then it would help us to kind of understand the content and maybe give
us a hint of what kind of stuff would be examinable, how questions would be
phrased on the exam, stuff like that. Doing more kind of active studying which
actually engages your brain is definitely more effective and I do know
that, but sometimes, you know, you’ve just kind of got to prioritise. If you’ve got
like a deadline for something which is actually being marked, that takes
priority over something which isn’t being marked. You’ve just kind of gotta juggle things. So some weeks I would do it myself, some weeks I would do it in the
tutorial. But I tried at least to do every single sheet that was set, every
single question we were given as an example to try at home, I tried to do
because usually if a lecturer’s giving you those kinds of questions, it’s
because you’re going to need to know them. Just to kind of compare, these are
my notes for Statistical Methods and this lecturer did lectures with lecture
slides and we had a printout of the slides, which I think probably will be in here
somewhere. Sometimes I’ve annotated and highlighted them,
most of the time I haven’t because I actually in the end found it was so much
easier to write them up myself. Having things in my own writing, my own
kind of colour scheme and order to things, that really helped me learn things a lot
better than annotating lecture slides and filling in gaps and stuff like that.
So that is an example of one where I had more of a lecture slide based lecturer.
And honestly I do understand why he would want to do it on a PowerPoint
presentation, because some of these distributions and residual things for
stats are just… they’re messy. So you don’t want to be writing those on the
board and then getting symbols wrong and stuff so I get it.
But yeah, I prefer to write them out. It obviously completely depends on you and
what sort of learner you are, whether you find it more effective to write notes, or
whether you find it more effective to do examples, whether you prefer paper notes
or digital notes. All of those things are factors that you should consider before
you decide on your note-taking style. Because, I mean, at least for me, I
like to have it all consistent. I have done the same method since first year,
where each one of these ring-binder folders had a different subject in and
then I would transfer them at the end of the semester. And that worked for me all
the way through. I kind of adapted things as I needed to. I liked that all my notes
were the same style, I could reference them all in my big lever arch files,
which I will actually show you just now. First up I kept all my A Level notes in
one. this folder I think was from Sainsbury’s, it’s really pretty.
Each booklet for each module I did at A Level is just about crammed in there. And
that was really useful to be able to reference things, like simple things that
you should be able to do, especially at university level. But sometimes your mind
goes blank. You’re like wait hang on how do you differentiate cos? This folder is
also from Sainsbury’s, this is first-year Calculus and Linear Algebra. I would
always keep all the handwritten notes that I’ve done, so the bit that was before the
divider in all my folders, that would always stay and then it would depend on the
module whether I kept things like example questions or notes I’d done
before the exam where I usually had sort of an info sheet of everything I would
need to remember. Sometimes I would keep that, really it depended on whether I was
doing like a follow on module so for example these are all my notes for
Linear Algebra 1. And then I also kept all the questions and exercise sheets for
that too, because next semester I was doing Linear Algebra 2, so being able to go back and
look at the actual method that I used to do the questions was really helpful in
that case. But sometimes I would do a kind of standalone module, which I knew I
was never gonna have to use again. For example, in first year there was a
compulsory mathematical modelling which was kind of like mechanics and physics.
That is not my thing. I knew I would never voluntarily choose to do that
again. After first year you can kind of choose all your own modules, so I knew
that it was very unlikely that I would ever need to look back at those. I
haven’t looked back at them at all so I definitely didn’t need to keep all the
questions and stuff which is great. But really, I tried to cull things as much as
possible because you can get through a lot of paper in one module. Like even
just in exams. I got through two refill pads in my previous exam period, which is
why I don’t have any more refill pads here because I thought there wasn’t any point
in buying another one, so I was literally just using any scrap paper I could to do
exam question. The backs of receipts and everything, it was crazy. They’re how I kind of
store my notes and then, like I said, you’ve got a nice pretty label on each
one, they all go stacked in my bookshelf next to each other. I’ve got all my
second year notes in here. I try to group things together as much as possible.
Algorithms, PDEs, Stats Methods, Stats Distribution. They’re all in there and
then my pure modules are in a separate one because I knew *ugh* I knew that pure was
what I was interested in so for those I kept them in a bit more detail and I
kept them all together because I knew I’d be referencing those ones the most.
Then also in here are my third year first semester modules because they just
slotted in and they were kind of all more pure things. I just like to keep
things easily accessible and also kind of easy to find. So everything’s labeled,
everything’s neat, organised, put in with dividers with labels on. Beautiful! And
having all my notes ready to reference if I needed them did come in really
useful because the further I got in my degree the more sort of specific my
modules were, but they were relying on all the knowledge from my previous years.
So especially things like my first year calculus folder, those things were coming
up all the time. So if there was something I needed to go back over I
could easily just pull out one of these folders, flip to the bit that I needed
and it would already be beautifully highlighted so I knew exactly what I was
looking at. And that’s actually another benefit, at least I think, of writing on
paper instead of in books because then I can transfer just the things I want to
keep. I think that is everything I have to tell you about how I took notes for
uni. I got a bit carried away. I get very excited about talking about stationery
and organisation, and also I don’t talk about maths much, especially now that I’m
not surrounded by people who who maths. Like, I don’t have maths friends anymore, I
mean I do, but I don’t see them every day. So I think I just kind of like verbal
vomited everywhere, sorry. Looking through those has actually made me really miss
studying at uni which I never thought I would say. And not even just like the fun
side of it, like I look at the maths and I’m like “yeah I remember doing that,
what great time”. So it’s confirmed, I am officially, like, officially a nerd. If
there are any more uni related or maths related videos you would like me to make,
please just let me know. I know I’m not at uni anymore but you know I’m just clinging on to the fact that I was a student at some point. So uni content, I’m gonna still make it, I don’t care. Okay, hopefully you found this video useful or
maybe enjoyed it, just liked being a bit nosy, that’s what I would be like. If
you’re not subscribed, then please do because I’m like so close to 10,000
subscribers. I think I’m about 150 away. And 10,000 just sounds like a legit
number. So it would mean a lot to me if you would subscribe. I promise I will
make more videos like this if that’s what you want, just let me know. And, yeah,
thank you for watching and I will see you very soon!

49 Replies to “Maths Degree Lecture Notes 📝🙇🏻‍♀️| How To Take Notes At Uni | TheKingBeth

  1. Firstly can I just say I really enjoy your videos they are very informative. Please upload more.
    Can you please go over a typical 1st year Maths papers. And any tips you would recommend for the exam and how it is different from an Alevel Maths paper?

  2. Thank you for sharing these tips. I'm a first year math student (in Belgium) and I take my notes the same way as you did. I also love the pastel highlighters haha and your videos! 🙂

  3. Literally in Set Theory and logics right now but one thing that I deal with is the language barrier when having foreign instructors, have you ever experienced that? Thanks for the video!

  4. Do you have a math video on how to prepare and practice for math ? I'm down to my math and paych credits and I'll be done .

  5. Hi,i m so grateful that i ve discovered your channel,i m curently on the last stage of highschool in my country,and i m preparing for a math uni cause i have been always dreaming to become math theacher ,here ,in my country(I m from Romania)

  6. Omg yesss!! I'm currently in first year struggling but there's literally no uni maths vids online anywhere else! Love this so much 💖 A video on how you prepared for uni maths exams (especially when there's limited past papers/no mark schemes) would be super helpful as well! 😊

  7. I've been waiting yeaaars for this video! I loved it! I just started my math degree and I'm super excited, I'm a pure maths lover.
    I hope you're having a great week!!! ^-^

  8. I'd really love a video on your French notes and how you're carrying on with French because I'm learning Latin and would like to start learning more languages so it'd be really helpful/interesting.

  9. I'm in high school now and I'm taking accelerated math classes– splitting the semester with pre-calc and calc 1. Last semester my math class went so quickly and I struggled with neat notes and organization with all of the tests and quizzes and projects… these will go even quicker! I love your math videos so much, and this one is so helpful!!! I want to major in Applied Mathematics so I've been binging your videos.

  10. Hey I'm post graduate in mathematics. I know how tough it is to be a university mathematics student…
    Good luck for ur future. Love from India. #INDIANSTUDYTUBER

  11. An electronic copy of this notes is priceless to us who are just starting to learn maths at uni. Is there a chance that you might digitize them and share them to us? 🙂

  12. I am the a-notebook-for-each-module team, but I loved the way those notes were organised and the whole folders idea 👀
    Congratulations on graduating! 🙂

  13. This is the best video of explaining note taking I've ever seen throughout the whole of related YouTube videos! WOW

  14. Tip to fill up timr

    Make an agenda and completely fill it with nice priductive things that you like!
    It’s really a test now to fill in your own life, keep going!

  15. Hi! I really enjoyed watching your video. I want your suggestion on something: I am an engineering student but I want to do pure maths for my career. I am studying it on my own right now. Is there someway to enroll in Maths for Masters? and how should I prepare for it since I am not a regular math student. Thanks!

  16. Hey there:))💮💛🌼 You are a beautiful person (beauty with brains) .Being logically and aesthically inclined is not that frequent. But I am really surprised by the extent that you guys in the uk and some other countries I suppose use calculators since I wonder if u are able to carry out the calculations by hand for example calculating square roots and long divison as half the maths is done by calculators considering here in India calculators are not used even during undergraduate and post graduate studies!
    I would be really interested in knowing if you find mathematics interesting/boring/beautiful/logical and if u took because you enjoyed it or just because you had a grip on it..(what does maths mean to u) .and if you could share your favourite topics in maths like trigonometry or algebra …that kind of thing….and what are functions by the way? What are your thoughts on Noether's theorem? Did you watch Hidden Figures btw? Do u meditate by the way?
    Channels you should watch
    Lauren Wade since you like books
    Tibees
    Vihart
    Simon Clarke!
    U should also watch 'The Man Who Knew Infinity'…It's a beautiful movie …I was transfixed by it.. if you haven't seen it already:)))Sorry for this nosey comment😅

  17. I'm listening while doing my statistics analysis assessment. So happy to find someone else in maths/stats

  18. Is a maths degree difficult im in my 6th year doing advanced higher maths which is the equivalent to the level above A level and i want to do it at uni but im also scared 😦

  19. Thanks Beth. It would be interesting to see your French binder so we could kind of see how someone would go about learning French as a language. (:

  20. I would love to hear how you go through material and determine if something is examinable or not, I find that to be one of the hardest parts when it comes to maths in uni. thank you!

  21. Please share to me advanced calculus material (notes/books PDF/any stuff) ; for better concept development.

    Thanking you.

  22. I'm SO GLAD you mentioned how messy of a subject stats is. I'm taking it at the moment, only week 7, so I'm on the sample probability of normal distributions and I can just see that abnormal distribution maths looming in my exam future.

    I'm actually an economics major but I was thinking of getting a minor in stats, mathematics or data. Thing is, I'm dyslexic and even use anti-dyslexic font (OpenDyslexic3) for these reasons. It means I can do things mathematically correctly on my laptop (which as you know is hit or miss) and by hand, but it means I flounder when it comes to exam situations. I really think this minor can strengthen my economics degree ten-fold (hmm, maybe I should actually calculate this since it's a maths degree, lol). What do you think?

    Do you have any tips for memorising the formulas? We get the Z-tables provided but my brain just swims when I see all the numbers and I lose the formula in my head… like I know what the problem wants, I know what it's asking…I just completely forget how to do it when the time comes! Closed book, no note exam, and dyslexic to boot….how does one remember formulas on top of this??! Sigma, oh no not that sigma, the other sigma. Mu and x bar. BINOMIAL DISTRIBUTION. My head hurts.

    Tl:dr: thank you for being honest about maths. 1. Do you think I should add a Stats/Maths minor to my economics degree and 2. What do you recommend to memorise formulas?

  23. I study mechanical engineering and it's so hard to find inspiration on the studyblr community on how to take note, thanks for this content!

  24. I know I'm like super late to the party but
    it is possible to type math quite comfortably with LaTeX and LyX, which are a language and a software made especially for that. It definitely takes some getting used to, but if you can type fast it won't be any slower than your regular typing speed. The main reason I don't use that is because switching between left-to-right for math and right-to-left for Hebrew (the language in which the lecture is) is kind of a pain for me, but I've seen guys in my class do that and it's crazy how quick they can type up what the teacher is saying.

  25. You are so right about the folder vs. notebook, but having a notebook forced me go to my lectures so I wouldn’t have to leave a gap 😂

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