Why you Shouldn’t Rely on Other People’s Notes

Some students fall into the trap of believing that they don’t have to attend class because they can just borrow another student’s notes. This is especially true for college students since many professors don’t monitor student attendance. Relying on the notes of your fellow students is a big mistake, however, as it is a mistake that may affect your grades in a negative way. Here’s why you should attend class and develop your own notes instead of relying on someone else’s:

    • Not all students have good note taking skills: Since note taking isn’t taught in a lot of schools, many students are not highly skilled in this practice. Therefore, you have no real way of knowing whether the notes you borrowed represent the essential information that was covered in the lecture. The student you are trusting may have missed several key points and that may cause you to overlook them when you are studying for a test.
  • The notes may be difficult to decipher: Many students use symbols, shorthand, and abbreviations to allow them to record more of what the professor says during a lecture. While the student who wrote these notes can probably read them without any trouble, the notes may be completely illegible to someone who borrows them. As a result, you may not be able to understand the notes that you copy, and a set of notes that you can’t understand will obviously not be of much use when it’s time to start reviewing them.
  • Notes won’t contain everything that was covered in the lecture: A copied set of notes, even if they are excellent, is no substitute for going to class. Instructors often present examples and other supplementary information that is essential to understanding the topic, even if it won’t appear on a test. Lectures also give you the opportunity to ask questions if you are unclear about something, which isn’t an option if you decide to skip class and copy another student’s notes instead.

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