Some teachers give out notes, some make you start from scratch, but usually, in either situation, the notes are organized in a hierarchy of information. A heading of what’s to come is followed by information that fits in that category. Sometimes there is a sub-heading with some information that is all related but only applies to one of the items in the original heading. Outline format. Take a look at an outline and understand how things are arranged in it. Arranging what you are learning, and understanding which items belong under the same heading will help you understand how things are related and which items you have to choose from to answer a question.