In college I was a psychology major. The toughest course we had to take was Experimental Psychology. I was intimidated from day one. I went to every class, I took copious notes, I sat in front (the professor was Japanese and hard to understand), I read all of the required chapters, and I highlighted all of the important terms, facts, and data.
On our first big test I scored a whopping 38! Needless to say I was shocked and full of despair about passing this class.
Out of desperation I went to talk with the professor during his office hours that week. Dr Ashida was very nice and personable and tried to put me at ease. When I explained to him that I had worked very hard in his class and I scored only a 38 on his first test. He said "Em, everybody do bad on that test, do not feel bad." Then he said "How did you prepare for the test?" I then told him all of the things I had done to try to be successful in his class.
"Open your book to Chapter 4." I opened my book and Dr. Ashida could see all of the highlighted marks on the pages. "Why do you highlight in your book like that?" he asked. "I do it to help me remember the important terms, and facts I need to know when I study" I replied. "You are missing the point here about learning. To learn you need to read the whole chapter and understand the concept. Once you grasp the concept, all of the terms, and facts will come to you naturally as you explain the concept. Do you understand?"
I did understand. I tried doing it Dr. Ashida's way and he was right. After Dr Ashida taught me how to study, I never highlighted anything ever again. I learned to grasp the main concept and not to worry about the small stuff. Tests got easier because I knew what I was talking about; and I got an A in Experimental Psych. His teaching helped me throughout my college career, and in any learning situation I found myself in.
We hope it helps you too.