As a college student, it’s likely that one of the activities you spend the most time doing is reading. You’re given regular reading assignments by your instructors, sometimes of up to a hundred or more pages. Do you ever feel overwhelmed or that you’re just not getting it all? If so, you may need to work on developing some strategies to improve reading comprehension and to break down your larger reading assignments. Good reading comprehension is particularly important in today’s world of online classes. Here are some tips that may help.
Find Your Spot
Find a regular place to study. Having a study spot that’s free of distractions is important to reading effectively and understanding what you’ve read. Having a regular study environment will also help your mind adjust more quickly to study mode.
Be prepared to involve yourself in the reading. Focus your mind and body on the task and hand in order to get the best results. Take notes while reading in order to keep your mind actively engaged and to internalize the information. You may even want to write in the margins of your book or highlight pertinent points.
Break It Down
Scan your chapter before reading, looking for headings and words in bold print. This will help build understanding when you read. Also, set reading goals for yourself. Marathon reading sessions will only wear you out, and you’ll probably never remember all the information. Decide how many pages you will read and focus on that amount.
Talk It Out
It may sound weird, but a great way of understanding your reading is to read aloud. If you’ve got a quiet place of your own to study, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. You can also check for understanding by asking yourself questions periodically or attempting to summarize each section throughout your reading.
Before you begin reading, during your scanning, take some time to write down questions you think you might learn through your reading. A simple way of doing this is to take the bold headings and change them around to form a question. Then quiz yourself at the end of your reading by checking to see if you can answer your questions. This is another way of ensuring reading comprehension.
These are some ideas to get you started. What are you doing that works for you? I’d love to hear some of your reading suggestions in the comments.