How to Read Textbooks Effectively
You’re often required to read through enormous text books during classes? Have you ever read a paragraph and remembered nothing from it? Have no worries about that.There is at least one person who faced the same problem – me.
Everything happens because of having focusing problems or a great will to do anything except studying. Surely each of us met the fact that having read four hundred pages of fiction or detective story meet no problems in our head. Moreover, we can retell the whole story or defined paragraphs afterwards without any doubt. What’s wrong with the textbooks then? They are boring, they bring no excitement, plot doesn’t keep you involved into story. Actually, it doesn’t have to. Textbooks are written just for studying and sometimes may carry only scientific info. So, here’s the challenge and here are the tips to handle it.
- Know your aim
Many of us keep reading textbooks just because they have to. As a matter of fact we never remember anything having read any text in such a way. Often such reading is provided just to take out on step from “to-do list”. That’s wrong. All textbooks have to be read attentively, actively and carefully to provide clear points of view about the data you got and to easier cope with your assignments or exams later. Below you can find some thoughts on how to make your reading more effective.
- Read vice versa
Weird thought. At least it seemed to be at first sight. First of all, see the end of the paragraph or chapter. Read through key points, summaries and definitions which are usually given in the end. Afterwards read through headings to define main ideas and those of less importance. Then go through the introduction and continue reading the whole chapters. In such a way you will know the key points and will have a chance to define which information is required for the exam. Actually, later that can help you to prepare faster and to recall some data in your memory more effectively.
- Remember main things
Each of your textbooks consists of full coverage of each topic, with different points and detailed explanation of facts and processes. But your professor will surely need you to know only the plot. That’s why pay more attention to the fact itself but don’t forget about some interesting additional facts to get some extra points.
- Note key facts
Make backups. This phrase has nothing common with computer science in this case. This means that for better operating the information you can write some important facts, definitions, terms and key points. For such purpose you may use blank sheet of paper or special section in your textbook. It doesn’t matter. Just make that data available and easy to understand.
By defining and getting key facts out from your textbook you may also prepare not a bad guide to prepare to your exams, which will consist only of the most important information.
- Revise your notes
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard enough to find time to read the textbook chapter once, let alone twice! To keep from doing this be sure to use the tips above on active reading. Once you have read the chapter, you need to read your class notes and the chapter notes that you took regularly. This will help you to keep the information fresh. It will also save you study time come the week of the test because you will already be familiar with much of the information.
Because I know that learning a new reading/studying technique can be difficult at first, I have created a printable checklist of everything you need to do in order to get the most out of your required reading. You can grab this free bonus by subscribing below!
I hope you enjoyed learning how to read your textbooks effectively! If you apply these steps next time you have assigned reading, I know you will be able to understand and retain the information more easily! If you have any textbook reading techniques that you use, I would love to hear about them in the comments below!