SLC: Extracting Information
SLC: Extracting Information Revision
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What does ‘Extracting’ actually mean?
‘Extracting‘ just means ‘to remove or take out‘, according to the dictionary!
Being able to extract information for a written text is a very important skill.
However, in your SLC exam, you will also need to be able to extract information from presentations and conversations. This could be the main points of the speaker’s argument or specific information that you need to know.
To do this, there are a few different techniques you can use, let’s learn a bit about each of them now…
Key Tip No.1
One of the best ways to effectively understand and pick out the necessary information is to have some idea of what you are listening out for before the conversation or presentation begins.
This will help you to filter out unnecessary detail, or unrelated points, and to remain focused on what you need to extract.
Although there may be many wonderful and interesting things in the text, if it is not relevant to what you need to find out, then you need to train yourself to focus instead on what is.
For example, although this scuba diver is surrounded by amazing sea creatures, they remain focused on what they are searching for.
A complex text will be similar to this. It will contain extra details, pictures and view points which you must not get distracted by as you hunt for the central meaning.
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Key Tip No.2
When you are listening, even if you have an idea of what you should be listening for, it can be a lot to take in and sort through.
One of the best ways you can do this is to take notes.
To take good notes…
- Use bullet points, highlight, underline or draw boxes around points which are emphasized or repeated by the speaker. This will help you to look at the bigger picture at the end.
- Use abbreviations. Abbreviations are shortened versions of words, and using them will make it quicker to read and write information. This will reduce the amount of space your notes take up, which makes it easier to spot patterns and connected arguments.
- Add small drawings, symbols or arrows to your notes. This can also be useful for trying to remember any extra details or links you notice whilst listening.
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Relevant or Irrelevant?
The following is a text about the pros and cons of social media:
Highlighted in red can be considered as the irrelevant information – it doesn’t directly tackle the aim of the text:
The pros and cons of social media!
Everything not highlighted is the relevant information – it directly relates to the aim of the text.
Extracting the relevant information will help you to formulate questions in the Q+A sessions.
Take a look at the text again…
Questions that could be asked based on the above text:
- What can be done to stop the issue of cyberbullying?
- Do you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
- Should there be a time limit feature on social media to stop children becoming addicted?
These are questions that can be asked which seek extra information.
When you are asking questions, you should always remain polite and speak in a formal tone.
For example, it would be inappropriate to ask a question like:
- ‘Oi, what do you think?’
Make sure that you are actually asking a question, rather than a leading statement.
The castle is open to the public right?
Although it is clear that this is meant to come across as a question, this will not reach the necessary criteria.
Try to steer away from questions where the only answer could be ‘yes‘ or ‘no‘.
Example: How to
A good way to practice your ability to extract relevant information is to…
- Select a news or magazine page.
- From the heading, decide one thing you want to find out by the end of the article.
- Read through and try to focus specifically upon finding that information.
- If you don’t have the information by the end, read through again to check that you haven’t missed it.
- Sometimes it may not even be in the text at all!
Becoming familiar with this technique is important, and will be a skill you can develop with practice.
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