Monday, January 16


The Quad: UCLA students’ favorite note-taking methods


(Creative Commons photo by Galymzhan Abdugalimov via Unsplash)

(Creative Commons photo by Galymzhan Abdugalimov via Unsplash)


It may be halfway through finals week, but some of us are still frantically recopying our notes in a desperate bid to grasp basic concepts, the original versions having failed us. Notes can be taken in a variety of ways, with some students jotting them down by hand and others typing them on laptops or just recording the lecture on phones for later perusal. With researchers suggesting contrasting views, I was curious as to what form of note-taking our own Bruins preferred.



“I feel handwritten notes are better as they help me to engage with the content better, and I feel more invested in the subject without any distractions.”
– Ishita Agarwal, a first-year neuroscience student

“I feel like taking notes by hand is better in class as it helps me remember whatever I’m writing, but I also type them down in Google Docs so that I don’t lose them. It’s good to have a permanent copy of the notes.”
– Jennifer Zhu, a first-year Asian studies student

“It depends on the class. For other subjects that have a more theoretical base, I prefer typing the notes. It’s faster and easier to store. However, as mathematics and physics require long equations, I prefer to write them down in a notebook as typing those would require complex applications.”
– Sharon John, a first-year computer science student

“I prefer taking notes by hand because if I try to take them on my laptop, I would just get distracted and end up scrolling through Facebook.”
– Arianna Brooks, a first-year neuroscience student

“I prefer to take notes by hand because it definitely helps cement the information into your brain better. As a result, I feel more in sync with a lecture and pay better attention. When I’m typing, I feel that I’m less attentive.”
– Mohit Bandla, a second-year psychobiology student

UCLA students seem to be divided equally over this dilemma, but some professors, such as professor Michael Suman who teachers Communication Studies 10, advocate certain policies, such as not allowing electronic devices in their classes. As long as one is comfortable with the content of the subject and their notes help them understand it, the method doesn’t matter. Regardless of your note-taking choices, good luck on finals.

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Sanah Mehta is a Daily Bruin Quad contributor. Being an international student, she likes to write about her personal experiences related to UCLA and life back home, drawing parallels between the two!


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