Science proves that typing notes is killing your grade

If you close your laptop and open a notebook, you’ll have less studying to do.

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Science proves that typing notes is killing your grade

9th grader Alex Moore looks reading notes for French class.

9th grader Alex Moore looks reading notes for French class.

Elizabeth Trevathan

9th grader Alex Moore looks reading notes for French class.

Elizabeth Trevathan

Elizabeth Trevathan

9th grader Alex Moore looks reading notes for French class.

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Classes often begin with students opening their laptop, but typing notes aren’t as beneficial as the students think they are. In fact, typing notes makes preparing for tests much tougher than it should be. Scientific studies and surveys prove that there is a magical thing about writing notes down that develops your overall understanding of the topic.

According to the Huffington Post, Dr. Helen Macpherson with the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University explained that writing by hand forces you to coordinate both the verbal and the fine movement systems which leaves a memory in these systems that does not happen when typing.

In a scientific study published in 2008, the more that students used computers in class, the less confident they felt in what they learned. Another study from 2003 discovered that students who browsed unrelated websites in class were capable of recalling more information from class that students who were taking notes and searching for information that was relevant to the topic. Typed notes have such a negative impact on students that it is better not to pay attention at all.

Scientific studies and surveys prove that there is a magical thing about writing notes down that develops your overall understanding of the topic.”

In a physiological study conducted by UCLA, two groups of students listened to the same lecture, with one group taking notes by hand and the other typing notes. Thirty minutes later, both groups were tested. Both groups had memorized the same number of simple facts, but the students who typed notes were not able to explain larger ideas. Even though the students who typed had more notes to review, they did not understand the material. In the next round of the study, the students were able to review their notes before the test, and the students who typed still receive much lower grades than the students who wrote notes.

You can’t write a lecture in the time that a teacher can explain it, so you are forced to comprehend a much broader idea before you take notes. Typing is faster, so students automatically write verbatim, or close to verbatim, without comprehending the material. When you review handwritten notes, you remind your brain of the other parts of the content other than what you were able to write down. When you go to write that information down on a test, you are activating your motor memory, allowing your body to recall the information faster and easier.

With finals rapidly approaching, switch your note-taking strategy to writing for the last few lessons and add handwriting your notes to your preparation. Writing will make the study process easier as the final approaches closer. If you close your laptop and open a notebook, you’ll have less studying to do.

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