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Note-taking on standardized tests (TOEFL, etc.)

Many tests, such as TOEFL, allow you to take notes during the Reading and Listening sections. Remember this, test-takers: notes in these exams are for now, not later!
What do I mean by “for now?” In school, you should take good notes so that you can review the material much later in the semester. Not so on TOEFL and other exams, though! Your notes on standardized tests help you locate (Reading section) or remember (Listening) a few moments later. Then, it’s over! On to the next test item.

Therefore, don’t be afraid to take fast, ugly, and personalized notes that only you can understand! For some wonderful “how-to” advice, I refer you to the book Fundamentals of Court Interpretation and its section on note-taking for court interpreters. My Court & Medical Interpreting instructor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the venerable Holly Mikkelson, a true Rock Star, one of the coauthors. Everything she does is first-rate.

For the moment, though, remember: make it quick & remember to jot down the Main Idea plus important details. You will only use these notes for a few minutes. Best wishes for success on your exam!

–Please feel free to forward widely as long as credit is given to Daniel Steve Villarreal, Ph.D. (萬丹青),
(c) Daniel Steve Villarreal, Ph.D. (萬丹青)

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