How do you take notes?

Have you ever considered how your note-taking method affects your studying? For instance, do you type your study notes out on a computer? Or do you write them out by hand on paper? Or maybe you have a hybrid method that involves writing by hand on a tablet with a stylus?notetaking

As it turns out, the way you take notes could make a difference in how well you retain the material. According to a recent study by professors at Princeton and UCLA, “students who write out their notes by hand actually learn more than those who type their notes on [computer keyboards]” (Mueller and Oppenheimer qtd. in Eck).

In other words, as Mueller and Oppenheimer put it, “the pen is mightier than the keyboard” when it comes to taking notes (1159). For example, while keyboard users typically write more words in a shorter timeframe, those who write by hand tend to gain “a stronger conceptual understanding” of the material (Eck). This could go a long way towards maximizing your study time, so keep it in mind the next time you’re planning a study session!

The bottom line: Use a computer keyboard if you want to take quicker notes. But if you want to take better notes, you might opt for the old-fashioned route.

Click here to read Allison Eck’s full story, which explains more of these research findings. And for more great study tips, consider taking one of our College Prep courses!

Eck, Allison. “For More Effective Studying, Take Notes With Pen and Paper.” Nova Next. PBS,                   3 June 2014. Web. 4 June 2014.

Mueller, Pam A. and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. “The Pen Is Mightier Than the                                           Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking.”                                                    Psychological Science 25(6):1159 – 1168. Print. 2014.

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