Study skills are one of the most crucial proficiencies you can obtain both for your educational and professional career. But – one of the biggest gaps in creating great study skills is reading comprehension. Many people assume that reading comprehension is something that simply comes easier to some than to others and while that may be true, improving reading comprehension is simpler than you think and can take you extremely far throughout your education and career.
Improving Reading Comprehension
If you love reading, chances are it’s not the textbooks that you were assigned – you probably have something specific that you enjoy reading.
If you hate reading, the concept of improving reading comprehension to increase your study skills may seem even more daunting. There are some steps that a reading lover or a reading hater can take to work towards improving reading comprehension, study skills, and ultimately, progressing forwards and upwards in their educational career.
Read With Purpose
As we’ve chatted about before, many students mistake reading for studying. While reading can, in fact, be studying, if it’s not being done with purpose and intent, you’re more than likely just wasting your time.
When reading to study or to take in a new concept, you should define what the most important parts of that concept are so that you can narrow your focus and hone in on what’s crucial. This will save you valuable time, while also making your study time more worthwhile as you’ll actually grasp the concept better.
Stop and Summarize
One of the greatest mistakes those with low reading comprehension make is not taking a break after reading a complicated passage. If you’re confused by a concept or a passage left you scratching your head, don’t forge ahead into the content further. Stop, re-read if necessary and summarize the concept or passage for yourself. This will ensure that you actually know what the passage means and will help prevent further confusion as you read more. Overall, this is going to help you understand the chapter, book, or article much better as a whole.
Read Out Loud
If you struggle to focus when you’re alone or it’s quiet this can be especially helpful. Maybe you’ve experienced a time when you were reading something, but had no idea what you were actually reading because you were day-dreaming…sound familiar? Reading out loud can help keep you on track, focused, and can go a long way in improving your reading comprehension.
Create a Post-Reading Review
After you’ve finished a reading session, take a few minutes and jot down the main bullet points of what you learned. What stood out the most? What were your main takeaways? This will help to reinforce what you read and learned by writing it down and reviewing it.
Improving reading comprehension is just one piece to the study skills puzzle and winning the college game. For more on improving your reading comprehension and study skills, check out our study skill series on our resources page.