The Relationship of Handwriting Speed, Working Memory, Language Comprehension and Outlines to Lecture Note-taking and Test-taking among College Students


Stephen T. Peverly, Health and Behavior Studies, Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.



A previous investigation of the cognitive processes underlying note-taking found that handwriting speed was the only significant predictor of notes, and notes were the only significant predictor of test performance. This investigation sought to extend these results by evaluating the effects of handwriting speed, language comprehension, two measures of working memory (complex span and executive attention) and an outline on note-taking and test performance (written summary). Participants were randomly assigned to an outline or not no-outline group (Group) to determine the effect of an outline on handwriting speed. Results from a path analysis indicated that handwriting speed, language comprehension and Group were significantly related to notes. The relationship between the independent variables and the written summary was not completely mediated by notes as in the previous investigation. Notes, Group and language comprehension were related to the written summary. The implications of the findings are discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.