Despite the importance of notes to test performance, very little is known about the cognitive variables related to notetaking, especially text notes. The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the contributions of transcription fluency, reading comprehension, verbal working memory, executive attention, and background knowledge to the quality of text notes. A secondary purpose was to evaluate the relationship of all of the other aforementioned variables to three test types to determine if notes are more important to some test types than others: a free recall essay and two types of multiple choice items: memory items and inference items. Results indicated that transcription fluency was the best predictor of notes (reading comprehension was also significant predictor), which extends previous findings on the importance of transcription fluency to lecture notes. Notes' were the best predictor of the essay and the memory multiple choice items but not the inference items. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.