Revise with Colour
April 20, 2017 / Learn

Improve your Memory and Recall

Ever wonder why, when revision season is upon us, we all grab our highlighters and coloured post it notes?

It’s scientifically proven that colour makes the most important information stand out from the page and using highlighters to mark out key words is proven to improve memory and the ability to recall information.


The Science Bit

Writing in colour can help participants to retain 50-80% more information

This is because 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual

Recall is 10% better with colourful images as compared to black and white images because they are more vivid.

So Which Colours Work Best For Revision?

You should choose your colours carefully as certain colours have a bigger impact on memory than others, warm colours stimulate while cool colours calm.

You’re far more likely to remember something written in red, because red grabs your attention. Yellow and orange are also attention-grabbing colours but avoid dull colours like grey and brown. Red and yellow both help stimulate the mind, but they do so in different ways: Red generally means something is important and needs our attention, so is good for memory retrieval, whereas yellow helps stimulate mental activity and highlights what’s important. Studies have shown that blue and green both have a calming influence and increase concentration, while blue in particularly is proven to boost creative thinking.

Here is a great colour chart to help.



Give Yourself A Memory Boost With Colour!

Matching different colours to different topics will help you build an association with each subject, improving your ability to recall these topics when the time comes.

The folders you use, the paper you write on, or even the colour of your clothes can all help trigger the emotions and psychological responses associated with different colours during revision.

Tap into this association between a topic and a specific colour when you get into the exam room.

If you’ve used a yellow highlighter for all of your science notes wearing a yellow bangle during your chemistry exam can prove very useful in bringing that highlighted information to the forefront of your mind.

Matching different colours to different topics will help you build an association with each subject, improving your ability to recall these topics when the time comes.

The folders you use, the paper you write on, or even the colour of your clothes can all help trigger the emotions and psychological responses associated with different colours during revision.

Tap into this association between a topic and a specific colour when you get into the exam room.

If you’ve used a yellow highlighter for all of your science notes wearing a yellow bangle during your chemistry exam can prove very useful in bringing that highlighted information to the forefront of your mind.


5 Revision Essentials to Boost Memory

#1 Highlighters

Easy and comfortable to use highlighters have a shaped nib for the perfect application of colour to a line of text. Check out these new soothing pastel tones to boost concentration.



#2 Coloured Pens

As writing in different coloured pens has been proven to help recall, it’s a great idea to have a few to hand while you are writing up your revision notes or taking notes in your lectures. Having one of our ever-useful Bic 4 Colour pens to hand will help you quickly flick between the different colours as you are writing up different topics in your notes.

#3 Fine Liners

Using fine liner pens is another great way to get more colour into your revision notes, as they usually come in a greater range of colours than some other pens. More colour means more topic associations, meaning you can boost memory across a wider breadth of information.



#4 Notebooks with Colourful Divider Tabs

Not only do the colourful dividers help you organise your notes under different colour themes, they are a great way to help you stay organised in your note-taking, so you can find those lecture notes you need to review really quickly.



#5 Sticky Notes and Sticky Tabs

Colourful sticky notes are excellent if you want to write down small chunks of information. Stick them up around your room to help you remember the key facts as you’re going about your daily business. You can even make your own wide page dividers in your notebook using the colourful sticky notes folded up on the edge of each page or if you need to make lots of smaller divisions in your notebook you can use the narrower colourful sticky tabs.



#6 Coloured Revision Cards

Perfect as a quick reminder of your key facts and notes on coloured card.



The great thing about revising with colour is that there are no hard and fast rules. You can mix and match different colours, until you find one that works for you. No matter what the topic or level that you are revising, SATs through to degree level use his proven technique to boost your chances of top grades!

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