How College Students Can Improve Reading Comprehension

How College Students Can Improve Reading Comprehension Skills


The summer after you graduate high school always seems to be a bit of a blur. Between friends leaving for their next journey in life and you, yourself preparing to head out to college, there’s a lot to fit in in only a small amount of time. The ACTs and SATs you studied for (which seems like ages ago) gave you a good feel for what college-level reading is like. Now that the countdown to dorm room living has begun, you are feeling a little less confident about what it will be like reading a college textbook.

There is still plenty of time left in the summer to practice comprehending college-level text. Here are some tips on ways to prepare yourself for the dense reading material that lies ahead.

Preview the text

Before reading, skim over the text to gain an idea for what you are about to dive into. Read the chapter’s title, look for the key points, and see if any reoccurring words stand out. Mark the keywords and concepts that stick out with a highlighter. Be sure to mark only the most essential information, or else your book will look more like a coloring book!

Take notes

After you read through a section, write down notes and questions to refer back to. What you want to avoid is rereading. Rereading hurts your comprehension skills and interferes with remembering the content. Also, rereading is what slows you down, and in college, you’ll quickly learn that time is limited. Having notes in your back pocket summarizing the text will come in handy later down the road when you are prepping for finals.

Practice the “what it says” and “what it does” exercise

After you come to a stopping place in your reading, write one sentence¬†summarizing what you just read. This sounds difficult, but it is no different than adding a subtitle to a chapter. What you write down should also answer the “what it does” question. Did what you write down back up the argument that the author is making? You’ll be able to better comprehend a complicated piece of text by answering these two simple questions.

Read before bed

You are better able to remember and retain the information that you read when you do so right before you hit the feathers for the evening. As we discussed in a previous article, reading before bed improves your memory. It is a part of the three functions to memorization and can help with your reading comprehension skills. Practice this summer with an exciting non-fiction piece and quiz yourself or discuss with a friend what you read the night before to see how much you remember.

Learn to speed read

College courses move quickly, and so should the rate at which you read. Speed reading is an exercise that is perfect for pending college students to practice. Speed reading strengthens the memory glands, and you’ll have an easier time retaining information. It is also a very productive way to get through that overwhelming amount of material before the next class assignment or test. Speed reading is a valuable skill to learn and is something you can take with you as you enter the workforce.

Our speed reading courses are great for students and professionals alike. Find out more today and start comprehending more of what you read.

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