Note taking is very important when studying because it is the process of organizing what you have learned through your own expressions. By doing so, you can make it your own. 


​Now, let’s take a look at Cornell note taking, widely known as the most effective note taking method of all!

What is Cornell Note Taking?

A professor at Cornell University, Walter Pauk devised this Cornell note taking system to let students study efficiently.


Many studies prove the effectiveness of Cornell note taking. 

According to one study, class students adopted Cornell note taking, and the average got 10-12% higher than the previous semester. 

Also, other results showed that all students passed the midterm in the courses that were required to study with Cornell note taking, while only 70% of the students passed the midterm in the courses that were not. 


Then why is this Cornell note taking an effective note taking?


Organizing one’s notes systematically and reviewing them at least 2-3 times repeatedly help you fully acquire the content. This is because you write down the contents in class, and after class, you reflect on the contents by organizing the key contents and summary in your own language.


Also, it’s an effective way to study quickly and easily when you prepare for the exam, because just looking at the keywords or summary you’ve written will remind you of the content. 🙂


How should we take Cornell Notes then?

Taking Cornell Notes is simple!

This is how Cornell Notes look like. It is divided into 4 sections.

Let’s look at what should be filled in each section!


As shown in the image below, write the title in section 1, actual notes in column 2, keywords or comments in column 3, and summary in section 4.

In section 1, write the title or topic of the notes you are taking, date, and etc.


Section 2 is the area where you actually take notes. It is important to write as much content as possible rather than arranging the content as you take notes. 


Sections 3 and 4 are the ones you write down when you review after finishing taking notes in section 2.

In section 3, write down keywords, comments, or questions while reviewing notes taken on the right side, and in section 4, summarize the notes in 2-3 sentences.

How to make the best use of Cornell Notes

Simply taking Cornell notes wouldn’t make you 

If you follow the steps below, however, you will maximize your learning experience!


Step 1: Record (in class)

During class, write down the contents of the class in detail in the note taking area.


Step 2: Reduce

After class, look at the notes and briefly sum up the keywords in the keyword section. Then, organize important contents in 2 to 3 lines and write them down in the summary section. 


Step 3: Recite

It’s a step to distinguish whether you know exactly about the content. Practice saying what comes to your mind while only looking at the keywords. After making all of the contents your own, you’ll be able to say about the contents even after covering the notes. 


Step 4: Reflect

It is a step to expand one’s thinking. Reflect on the content by connecting the keywords or  with knowledge you already know. You should also check the content of your notes and make sure everything is correct. 


Step 5: Review

Spend time regularly to repeat what you’ve organized and fully understand it.

Flexcil provides Cornell note template

If you use a tablet to take notes, have a look at this!


Flexcil Standard version includes Cornell note template as a default template.

Create Cornell notes easily and study effectively instead of drawing the lines every single time!


🔽How to create Cornell Notes in Flexcil🔽

Flexcil comes with six more notes templates as well as Cornell Notes template, so if Cornell Notes isn’t best for you, you can take notes with a template that suits you!