What’s better - handwriting or typing notes?

Teen boy writing notes with books and a laptop on a desk
High school 14-18 years

Both handwriting and typing notes can be effective study techniques to help prepare for tests and exams. Encouraging your teen to use a combination of both can help them make the most of their study time! Here’s how to do it.

Start with the pen

Initially,  handwriting study notes is more productive than typing them up. This is because handwriting requires different types of cognitive processing than typing. Your teen will be more likely to summarise their notes into easy-to-understand information when they’re writing their notes down by hand.

Remember this

Handwriting notes has also been shown to help people with their short and long term memory. When writing notes out by hand, you also form memory cues which helps you to recall the information later.

Time to type

Once your teen has handwritten their study notes, try to encourage them to type them up. This is a great strategy to use to revise the material and consolidate the information.


Once your teen has typed up their notes, you could encourage them to create flashcards (small hand size notes). On each flashcard, write a chunk of text and highlight one key word or topic.  Your teen could then go through the deck of flashcards, see the highlighted topic and try to remember the rest of the information. Flashcards are effective because they engage the brain in “active recall” and give another opportunity to revise and consolidate.

Encourage your teen to use a combination of handwritten and typed notes when studying, as this creates the most opportunity for revision and consolidation!

Last modified on Monday 20 February 2017 [49|735]

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