At university, you are expected to do a lot of reading. This reading will generally fall into two categories: weekly reading for tutorials and lectures, and reading for your assignments. You can manage the reading load if you do so strategically and critically. Note-taking strategies assist in this.
Reading strategically means reading with a purpose. It is an important skill to develop, and a necessary part of being able to think and write analytically about your subject. It will help you avoid being overwhelmed. Reading critically, on the other hand, means positioning yourself in relation to the literature. At university, you need to more than simply understand the material you are reading; you need to critically analyse it. Note-taking strategies help you to think critically about what you're reading, so that you can establish your own position on the topics.