When it comes to studying, everyone has their own unique method that works best for them. While some students prefer to read through their notes multiple times or work on assessment books and practice papers, others may find that highlighting helps them to focus and process information more effectively.
What is the effect of highlighting?
Highlighting can be a useful tool for identifying key concepts, making connections between ideas, and drawing attention to important details. The act of highlighting itself can help students to embed the information in their memory more effectively. When used judiciously, it can also help to save time by allowing students to quickly locate specific information when they are reviewing their notes. Through this, they can create a quick reference guide that they can use when revising for an exam. However, it is important not to overdo it – too much highlighting can make notes difficult to read and actually impede learning. Read on for some helpful tips on how your child can make the most out of highlighting.
Highlighting tips for effective studying
1. Read the study material first
It can be tempting to just highlight everything while going through a new topic, but students are likely to miss the truly important points as a result. A better strategy is to read the chapter first and then go back to identify the key areas. This allows your child to engage with the material and make their own decisions about what is important. In fact, by the age of twelve years old, you will likely see significant improvements in their information processing skills. This includes the ability to remember and store information, as well as retrieve it when needed. Highlighting will come in handy to help them grasp new concepts better, which will ultimately lead to better learning.
2. Avoid highlighting everything
Make it a point to be selective and use highlighting sparingly. If every sentence is highlighted, the text can be difficult to read and it becomes harder to identify the areas that are crucial for exams. The goal is to create a useful record of important information that can be easily referenced when your child is going through the topics. For highlighting to be helpful, they can choose to highlight key words and phrases.
In secondary school science, for example, a question about photosynthesis might require the key words “carbon dioxide” and “oxygen.” If a student simply writes “plants take in carbon dioxide during photosynthesis,” they will not receive the points because they have not used the key word “oxygen”. These are examples of key words worth taking note of and with highlighting, your child can easily refer to them again during their exam preparation.
3. Use different colours to highlight information
Each colour can be associated with a different type of information, making it easier to identify and remember. For instance, your child might use one colour to mark key concepts, another to highlight quotes or passages that are particularly important, and a third to note any questions or points to follow up on. When information is clearly organised and easy to find, it will save your child a lot of time in the long run.
Of course, highlighting is just one study tool and it may not be the best tool for everyone. However, for students who find it helpful, it can be a useful way to glean more information from their notes and connect different ideas. Students can also tap on Superstar Teacher’s online learning platform to study smart for major exams like O-Levels in Singapore.
Whether it’s English, Chinese, Math or Science, our range of online tuition classes offer a more personalised learning experience for primary and secondary school students. Sign up for a free 14-day trial today to get started.
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