Sometimes students write down material they don't understand, feeling that in writing it down, understanding will come. But in class, teachers may present the theory, work examples, go over troublesome homework problems, give insights into the material, respond to questions or ask probing questions. With all this on a teacher's agenda, your notes indeed may not seem too clear! Ask for clarifications in class at the time. If you read the text before class, you may recognize material from the book, and where you do not need to take notes; but jot down what topics the teacher discussed. Reading the text beforehand will also help you focus your questions in class in ways that your teacher will probably appreciate. Bring your text to class. And rewrite your notes, incorporating material from the book and problems. You will have created an excellent study guide for yourself.