I am looking for a single word to describe the hand-out given by teachers after training for the purpose of self-learning. I would like something other than snap-shot, fast facts or bite-size.

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    Why not use "hand-out" to describe the hand-out? – Jon Hanna Feb 12 '13 at 10:56
  • What do you mean by left behind? Given out by the trainer or abandoned by the student? – bib Feb 12 '13 at 12:46
  • What do you mean by self-learning? Is that necessary for the word you're looking for? – Mitch Feb 12 '13 at 14:33
  • Note that it is "bite size," unless you are going for a pun: "byte" is a computing term. [edit: actually, someone edited that in, never mind] – horatio Feb 13 '13 at 17:07
  • We used to call them "takeaways", but that word became metaphorical: the information you were supposed to learn was the takeaway; the paper it was printed on was just the "hand-out". – Malvolio Feb 13 '13 at 17:12

The term cheat sheet can mean

A document containing summarized information used for quick reference

However, this term is also used to refer to crib notes, a secret reference used to help on a test.

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    I've also heard the term crib sheet to refer to these types of documents. I think you're onto something with those terms. – guypursey Feb 13 '13 at 15:51

I agree with Jon Hanna's comment. I have had this sort of document given to me thousands of times over the course of twenty years of education at eight different institutions and have never heard them refered to as anything other than "handouts."


When I was at college such hand-outs given to students after lessons we were simply called factsheets. They usually contained a summary of all the key facts we were supposed to learn off by heart.


If the hand-outs have been left behind they probably aren't much good. In that case you might call them bumf, in the first sense:-

informal , derogatory superfluous documents, forms, publicity material, etc

  • THanks but the hand-outs are left behind to complement the learning and give the learner something to refer back in case it's needed. – Sebastien Lafond Feb 12 '13 at 9:17
  • @SebastienLafond, I see, you mean left behind by the teacher, rather than left behind by the students. – Brian Hooper Feb 12 '13 at 9:55
  • Well, it's only bumf if left behind on purpose, but he may intend to convey that the hand-outs might be useful. – Jon Hanna Feb 12 '13 at 11:08

We call those Resources. Would that work?

Resource is defined as:

Something that can be used for support or help

An available supply that can be drawn on when needed. Often used in the plural.


Supplemental study guide or supplemental study material, though not a single word, encompasses your description of the types of materials distributed by a teacher to be used for self-study by the students.

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