Studying Effectively

Attending lectures

Preparing to attend your first lecture, you should think about what strategies have previously worked for you, as well as what is expected at the University of Nottingham.

Some lecture materials may be available in advance; do use them to help you to prepare for the lecture. It will help you make the most of it. Think about the sort of notes you take in lectures and what style of notes you may produce.

Going into the lecture

  • If you are planning to produce handwritten notes, make sure you have something to write with and suitable paper to write on (e.g. an A4 lined pad or notebook)
  • Get there in good time (being late is frowned upon and considered bad manners)
  • Pick a seat where you can see and hear easily – some students find sitting closer to the front helps them to concentrate
  • Turn off your mobile phone and do not text during the lecture - again this is considered bad manners. If you need to be available, e.g. for childcare reasons, let the lecturer know you need to keep your phone on.

During the lecture

  • Engage in active listening and appropriate note-taking
  • Make a note of any follow-up or extra readings or study resources that the lecturer identifies – you may need to look at these later.

After the lecture

  • Review your lecture notes soon after your lecture to make sure they make sense and identify any follow-up reading you may need to do
  • Talk to your fellow students about what they picked up as the key points – you may want to compare your notes but do remember not everyone takes notes in the same way
  • If there is anything you didn't understand - try to find out now. Follow-up readings and activities can be helpful, but do discuss material with your fellow students as well. If you still don't understand, approach the lecturer in the appropriate way (e.g. book a tutorial, use an office hour or send an email).
  • Remember that a little preparation before a lecture can often help you to understand more during the lecture. You may want to re-read your last set of lecture notes before going to the next lecture. This may help you to identify connections between the different topics covered in each session.
Attending a lecture


Further reading

Being organised



People who can help

Talk to someone in your school or a specialist support service


Studying Effectively

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666
Contact us