Vocabulary is one of the language components with which many learners have problems. The present study compared the effect of note taking and semantic mapping on vocabulary learning and retention of intermediate Iranian EFL learners. A total number of 98 took a proficiency test and based on its scores, 74 more homogeneous learners were selected as the participant of the study. The participants were then non-randomly assigned to two experimental groups and a control group. Note taking and semantic mapping were used each in one of the experimental groups while the control group used none of the strategies. A pre-test, a post-test, and a delayed posttest were employed to assess the efficiency of the strategies. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVAs. The results showed that note taking and semantic mapping strategies had no significantly different effects on the participants' vocabulary learning and vocabulary retention. However, note taking showed to be significantly more effective than no strategy on the posttest although this difference was not seen on the delayed posttest. The findings of the study have implication for both language teachers and learners which are discussed in the paper.