Many students realize shortly before the examination phase that their own lecture notes are actually useless. They are barely legible, sketchy or poorly structured. Now you can either learn only with the help of the script or you get the transcripts of a nice classmate. So that you do not face the same dilemma in the summer, we show you how you already efficiently use the lectures to make helpful transcripts and thus gives you a great advantage for the exam phase.

Preparation is half the battle

The work already starts with the preparation for the lecture, because the writing is not as easy as it sounds. At the same time it is important to listen and to write down and to separate the important from the unimportant. There are usually two types of students:

Type A: writes up too much and can not keep up -> incomplete transcript

Type B: writes too little & too spotty -> no connections recognizable & some sections may not be understandable

In order not to commit these mistakes, you should look at the script in preparation for the lecture. So you can estimate early on what is important and what is not. In addition, you should go asleep in the lecture and secure a good place in the lecture hall, so that you can concentrate optimally on the lecturer. Do you also have all the important documents such as scripts, laptop, pad, pens and possibly highlighter, you’re ready to start writing.

Paper vs. Laptop | classic vs. modern

The type of writing and storage of documents, whether classic with pen and block or modern with laptop, usually depends on the personal preference. Whether or not the laptop is an asset depends primarily on how well you can handle it. It is therefore often used by technology-savvy students. Good arguments can be found for both the classic and the modern variant.


  • Advantages of sketching, copying formulas & drawing pictures
  • No empty battery & no technical problems
  • Can also fall down
  • Handwritten things are learned faster


  • Notes are safe from coffee and jam stains
  • Scripts do not have to be printed
  • Content can be found more easily by keyword search
  • Heavy folders with scripts and notes can stay at home
  • Rules for the time during the lecture

Before actively writing, think about a consistent scheme for your notes. The method has proven to divide the sheet into three areas. The main section is for the main notes. The left margin should be used for sketches or examples and main outline points. Finally, you have the bottom of the page for later comments or references. In addition, you should provide each sheet with a date and a page number, so you can easily keep the order.

If the lecturer then gives his lecture, you should not try to write down everything word for word, but concentrate on the main ideas and key messages. You should not write them down in complete sentences, but rather note by point. So you increase your typing speed and do not run the risk of missing the connection. Also, make sure that you write the transcript in your own style and do not take on the language style of your instructor. So you can be sure that you understand after a long time, what is meant by the sentences or key points.

Finally, for a better overview, you can also highlight important points in color or add special characters such as a question or exclamation mark.

Postprocessing of the documents

At the end of the lecture the work is unfortunately not yet done. If you really want to have helpful notes for the exam, you should also take a little time for the post-processing. Here, it is especially your notes again clean and neat to write together, because in the lecture, you certainly did not have much time to pay attention to a beautiful handwriting. You can summarize your notes in topic areas and provided with important headings or statements. By re-editing the lecture, your brain also remembers what you have learned even better and you can tell if you have really understood everything. If there are still open questions, you can answer them directly with extended literature or you can talk to your teachers directly before the next lecture.


A good transcript can save you a lot of time in the hot phase of exam preparation. Therefore, make an effort to prepare a useful transcript before, during and immediately after the lecture. Pay particular attention to the fact that this is easy to read, complete, factually correct, clearly arranged and easy to find.

If the exam time becomes too stressful anyway, because you still have to take care of chores, then take a look at our homepage. We can offer you a variety of support in your scientific work.

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