Here are some good reasons why handwritten notes are important!


Sarah Jagnow, Eyes on Owls Editor

Note-taking is an essential part of your education, whether you like it or not.  And with it playing such a large part in your grades and overall understanding, you would want to do the best notes you can.  Hand-written can improve your grades and understanding of the material better than typing your notes ever could.  Typing your notes is definitely faster, but is it rushing your classes along and causing you to spend less time per lesson?


I am guilty of typing my notes.  For around half the year my second year at iUPrep, the only way I would take notes is through typing them.  I took my half a year to realize that the main culprit to my suffering grades was simply typing my notes instead of writing them.  I would finish a lesson in 15-20 minutes which made me be able to get ahead and be able to relax and have fun with my friends, but when a test reared it’s ugly head I would have to essentially relearn all the material over again.  I would study for hours and hours because I couldn’t remember any of the vocabulary terms and could not follow the objectives in the lessons.  I wasn’t doing enough practice problems in math, I wasn’t writing down anything but vocabulary in science and english, and wasn’t really reading through my health lessons at all (I was assuming I knew it already).  And my QuickCheck grades were fine so I thought I was fine, but the material didn’t stick.  Copy/Paste features replaced re-reading the same statement over and over or reading a graph again and again until I had it memorized before it was on the paper.  Vocabulary terms replaced reading the textbook.  And eventually lower grades replaced my A’s.  And it wasn’t just me.


There have been many studies about the art of taking notes and most have come to the conclusion that hand-writing notes makes a big difference in testing, even in tests with no note reviewing period.  I know several people that no longer take notes because they noticed no difference in not taking notes and typing notes. I would recommend checking out that study if you are one of the types of people who takes no notes or types their notes.  The study in short takes a group of college age students and puts them through a lecture where half of them takes notes on laptops and the other half takes handwritten notes.  People who take notes on laptops took more notes than those who wrote handwritten notes but they performed lower on the tests.  If you are nervous about not being able to write fast enough to take enough notes, try typing the notes and then later copying it onto paper.


Writing notes can improve grades, which many colleges look at, and helps understanding, which is the main reason of going through school right?  I realize I talked a lot about grades but the most important part of school is just understanding the material that you will be using in real life.  Sometimes lessons don’t feel like something that will be used in real life, but you really might.  Handwritten notes also have other advantages other than grades though, you can study even if the power is out and you are less likely to have some strange event that erases everything just as you are about to save them.  Notes are also a great way to help with extra credit assignments and portfolios because it makes the information you might need readily available.  Notes, especially handwritten, are very useful and a great help!