5 Ways to Use Other Students' Notes

By Allie Mitchell on January 20, 2017

College provides us with the tools we need for success in the real world. It provides us with the skills to communicate better, interview better, and receive information better. It also teaches us how to network and make friends.

There are no classes on the art of how to achieve a friendship, but being able to achieve those friendships can help you in the long run. Yes, they can help you get jobs or in a living situation, but while you are in school they can help you with one thing every student should know how to do — and that’s how to take notes and how to use them wisely.

Note taking can be a student’s strength or weakness; your goal as a student is to find a way to make those things work for you and perhaps making a friend and using both of your notes could be your best bet to make it through the semester unscathed.


You can do things like studying together to exchanging notes back and forth to achieve the grade of your choice, but taking advantage of others’ notes is a must-have. Your fellow classmates, ideally, are there to help you and for you to help them. You want to graduate college together and to have some mutual skills lined up that you achieved together. Future employers love people who are team players and who know how to work with large groups of people, making use of all their resources.

Here are a few reasons why using others’ notes, along with using your own, can help you be a more successful student:

1. Forgotten notes: When you are writing furiously in your notebook while your teacher is talking, like me you may spell a word wrong, erase it, and spell it right, but then now you have wasted time and have missed a chunk of lecture. And not to mention it was probably something that will be on your test. You don’t record lectures and asking your teacher to go back would be out of the question and probably waste their time. What is your next move?

This is where using other students’ notes comes into play. Making use of their notes could help you realize what you didn’t write down, so you make sure you write everything down that you need.

2. New information: Students learn differently than other students. That is just the way it is. Some students are visual learners, whereas others need lecture recordings to really understand anything at all. Using other students’ notes can help you see things from a different point of view and even help you understand something a little better. They can teach you something and you might teach them. Other students can even give you insight on how to write notes faster, so next time you may not feel so lost.

3. Different classes: You may take the same class as someone but they have a different professor, therefore they probably have different notes. Their teacher may teach an entirely different way than yours, so that way you get a different perspective. You may have tests on different days, but most likely the information is all the same in the long run, so it’s not like you are learning something that isn’t useful. Their teacher may draw pictures more than write words down, so combining those notes with yours could mean extra success on your next test.

4. Rewrite: To make using other students’ notes more effective, rewrite them. Rewriting them with how YOU take notes might help you out. Sometimes you may not understand their notes by looking at them their way, but if they explain them to you and then you revise them to make sense to you, then you are using their notes in a highly effective way. Format the notes exactly the way you want and make them your own because it will be YOU taking the test and not your friend.

5. Revisions: Using others’ notes can give you some insight into how you could do your notes for other classes as well. Instead of writing all your notes for your upcoming math class, maybe take a look at your friends’ notes and you might find that she recorded the lectures on a video, so she can watch what happens over and over and she can playback when she wants. You will find new ways to revise your note taking skills.

Interested in supplementing your class notes? Click here to find course notes from your college or university!

By Allie Mitchell

Uloop Writer
23 | Georgia State Alumna || Biology Major| Seeking MPH after graduating| Aspiring writer| Lover of interesting conversations and funny people| Active reader of fiction"| Girlfriend to a wonderful marine

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