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Sorry for off topic. I'll delete this topic immediately when community decides it's useless, however if anyone finds it's interesting, share your opinion with us. I just want to know your opinion about learning process you lead. How exactly do you organize your learning process? I'll try to explain it more specific.

On lectures I've noticed few types of behavior. The first type writes everything/almost everything to the notebook. The second type uses laptop, it looks like they type the script of the lecture. The third type don't do anything, just listening. Of course there are many subtypes (use camera, use dictaphone). I listen and try to understand everything, I try to write all important stuff, when it doesn't disturb to understanding. What do you do on the lectures? Which type are you? What works best for you?

At home, I get my notebook and download the script of the lecture from the Internet. On the basis of the notebook, script and additional material (textbook, video of the diffent lecture on the topic) I try to get deep understanding with connection to already studied stuff. Recently I decided to use Xmind. It helps me to connect different stuff together and express things in the maps. I found that almost every lecture on every topic can be expressed as a map. The problem is Xmind doesn't support latex format, so equations and math notation everything in pictures with saved copy of latex script, I know it's not the best way to do it. Do you use any software to organize you lectures and material you've studied?

I found myself changing maps very often, not just adding new stuff, however after reading new material I start seeing stuff differently, therefore map should be changed in order to express the current state of the knowledge and understanding. Maps is the only thing I use before examination, because almost always it's the most organized material I have. How do you prepare yourself to exams?

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When I was in school one of our teachers told us that you should ask your lecturer before you use a dictaphone or similar to listen to a lecture. This is because of copyright, etc. I mean, sometimes lecturers will publish their notes in book-form. They don't want copies of their book floating around, do they? Now, I'm never too sure what to make if what my teacher said...but all the same, there is no harm in asking your lecturer first, before you record their lecture! – user1729 Feb 16 '12 at 17:11
Anyway, most private notes I have seen are not as good as those that are made public, in terms of both content and format. – Tim Feb 16 '12 at 17:28
@user1729: knowledge belongs to humanity ;) you are right, I think they asked the lecturer – com Feb 16 '12 at 17:33

What do you do on the lectures? Which type are you? What works best for you?

Following is my opinion: I prefer writing down what goes on in the lecture. However, I don't sit and write everything. What I prefer doing is read through the chapter before the lecture and write only those points which aren't stated in the textbook. If you sit and do nothing, you are bound to forget the subtle points. If you sit and write a textbook during lecture, you'll land with a textbook in your hand but nothing in your head.

Do you use any software to organize you lectures and material you've studied?

You mentioned your inability to find a MindMapping Software which integrates Latex and MindMap. Check my question.

Check this.

Further, I heavily recommend checking this and this after the site leaves private beta.

How do you prepare yourself to exams?

Have fun. Prepare during the semesters and have fun a day prior. Make cheat sheets & mud points during the semester and review those a day prior.

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+1 for the software part. I can never imagine I use these things. – Tim Feb 16 '12 at 17:09 is in private beta, can you send invitation, if you have – com Feb 16 '12 at 17:33

Even if this question will be eventually closed, a few of us might be able to sneak answers in before such a time...

My behavior as a student in lectures is somewhat dependent on the lecturer. A few (overlapping) types:

  • The Monk diligently copies all the definitions, theorems, propositions, lemmas, corollaries, remarks, etc. from the book and then copies them onto the board. Sometimes he will even make reference to where in the book he found these so that the student can follow along. My notes during his lecture are sparse and merely supplement the textbook with my own wording/interpretation/intuition.

  • The Monk Lite does the same, though from his own set of notes which are not available before class, and do not directly follow any textbook. I copy every stroke he makes on the blackboard. Some such professors take their exams entirely from the notes, which can be a dual-edged sword :)

  • The Engager gives motivation and works examples before, during, and after presenting new definitions and important theorems. Class interaction is encouraged. In contrast to other lecture types, I am likely to read/study ahead in the book/notes so that I can participate in the lecture. What I write during the lecture supplements the knowledge I gained at home.

  • The ... (only pejorative terms come to mind) has never mastered the langauage in which the lecture is given. His handwriting is totally illegible, and his personal anecdotes leave everyone scratching their heads (and/or uploading the funniest lines to social media). My behavior in this class is to sit in the back and study/play games on the iPad.

I don't currently use a stylus to take notes on my tablet (iPad), but have heard positive feedback about such a method.

I have dozens on textbooks already on the tablet, and many more are available within a few seconds, thanks to the internets.

I would not recommend my test preparation.

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@Tim: One major website named... ??? I have had great success in finding freely offered .pdfs with the tag "reference-request" here and on MO. arXiv is still up, no? And yes, I may torrent ... when it absolutely has to be here today ... – The Chaz 2.0 Feb 16 '12 at 17:00
You can easily find free books (legally) elsewhere. – Inquest Feb 16 '12 at 17:06
@Tim, there are sooo many websites. Best way to search for books is to search google with filetype:pdf. Also, check If you have any specific topic, let me know, I'll provide a link. – Inquest Feb 16 '12 at 17:10
@Nunoxic: Thank you! Is e-booksdirectory another one qualified to be taken down? – Tim Feb 16 '12 at 17:16

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