Taping lectures, does it really help?

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    Hi Gals,

    I am wondering if any of you taped lectures and whether it is really helpful??? In the CC where I’ve been I never felt it necessary since I had plenty of access to the profs and I am a good note taker…But I see a lot of people with tape recorders and I am thinking I may do the same. I will have 2 hours on a ferry every day back and forth to Seattle and hope to use that time as constructively as possible. I’ll be taking Physics, Calc, and Bio, thinking I’ll tape just the Bio cuz it’s so much wordier.

    Any thoughts or tips? By the grace of God I have maintained a 3.6+ gpa, because I am REALLY not a very effective studyer, so I can use all the help I can get!




    Especially for bio, I think your time would be better spent going through the book before lecture so you can follow along better.

    I’ve never really understood taping lectures. Seems like if you can’t get it live, how does having a recording help? Just not my thing, I guess.

    I’ve never been one to read the textbook for class, but for bio it helps because it is mostly “words” and not equations and problems. I also think it is really, really important to be able to take effective notes. This makes your studying so much more efficient. It’s good for med school too, when you barely have time to attend all your classes – much less listen to tapes of them later!

    Just my opinion!



    Actually, taping the lecture is how I made it through Orgo and undergrad Biochem.

    I would take notes during lecture and tape the lectures too. I would then integrate as part of my studying rewriting/clarifying/condensing my notes into another notebook, while listening to the lecture again and having my book open.

    I took most of my premed classes in huge auditoriums with up to 300 people. Having the lecture on tape, allowed me to reinforce what the prof said, and not panic if I didn’t get down every word of a concept.

    Of course, this approach is not possible once you hit med school, but it did help me tremendously in Orgo (a subject this liberal-arts girl shudders thinking about even today…).



    Never have and probably never will. Like Spacecadet stated I personally felt that reading the book was a better way to spend my time than re-listening to lectures. That said, different folks learn material in a variety of ways so it may work for you.

    CaLiGirL :)CaLiGirL:)


    Hi! Books are the way to go, but one class that I had a while back was based purely off of lecture and the textbook was optional. It all depends on your professors style. If he’s lecture intensive, then I believe it would be a good idea to tape the lectures.

    My professor for cell/molecular based his exams purely off of his lectures (and we know how much info there is to memorize in that course). I tried studying the notes that I took but the problem was, I couldn’t get everything down. I got a low B on my first exam and was so frustrated I went to my professor’s office and asked him for his advice. He suggested the taping and so I did just that. My grades went up drastically with no exaggeration.

    I wrote as much as I could in class, leaving space for extra notes. Then out of class, I went over the lecture tape and filled in whatever I missed. After that, it was memorizing and understanding all of the material. I think you should get a feel of how your professor’s style is and then make a decision whether taping would be the right choice. If your professor tests you on the text book or even 50% lecture and 50% book, then it may not even be worth it to tape. We all know how dreadful it is, having to sit thru a lecture, and then AGAIN afterwards….uggh :rolleyes: . But it can be helpful.

    Hope this helps 🙂 ,



    On my freshman semester, I didn’t find it necessary to tape the lectures. However, as time goes by and classes get harder and harder…and professors become less and less helpful…I’ve found that taping the lectures has been a great way of studying. Of course, the book is the ultimate weapon…but the tapes have really helped my grades.


    Thank you all for your input. I think I will go ahead and buy a little tape recorder and try it…If I find that it isn’t useful, I can always sell it on ebay! 😀

    Thanks again,


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