Notes on Technical Course Lectures

Technical courses are the math, economics, science and engineering classes focused on formulas and calcuations. Non-technical courses are everything else.

Technical classes are usually focused on solving problems, so rather than looking for the Big Ideas like you would in a non-technical course, you want to focus on recording sample problems and their solutions.

Here's what you do:

  1. Don’t do the class reading ahead of time, because it will usually be covered in class.
    • Bring the text to class, follow along with the instructor, and only go back and do the reading if you don’t understand it after class.
  2. Record the problem statement and the answer.
  3. Try to record the steps from the problem to the answer.
    • Especially if this is the first sample problem for a new technique, be sure to get the steps down, because the instructor will probably go through the steps faster in subsequent sample problems.
  4. Be sure to question whatever is confusing, and get an answer asap.
  5. If you can, annotate the steps with a short explanation of what each step accomplishes or why it’s important.
    • This will help you to learn to reproduce the steps to solve the problem.

This advice is taken from How to Become a Straight A Student by Cal Newport. It's the best $15 investment in your education you can make.