Time is the most precious currency, and it is we who decide where to invest it: in work, personal growth, hobby, leisure, etc. But if we talk about college students, their choice of “investment” options is quite limited due to a packed schedule, everlasting flow of tasks, deadlines, and other responsibilities. So what should they do?
Here are several suggestions to unload a busy schedule:
- say the hell with deadlines and relax (you will bust your study that way, but who knows, maybe someone would find it helpful);
- shift some of your tasks to experts from essayservice (that’s a way better, especially for urgent or one-time cases);
- reconsider your approach and optimize your learning (this option is harder to put in place; however, it works great for a long-term perspective and will save you tons of time and money in the future).
So what is meant by “optimizing learning”? First of all, it stands for choosing effective studying techniques that will make you spend less time on accomplishing particular tasks yet drawing more value from the learning process. The list of these extra-helpful methods is longer than your arm, so let’s pick one. Today we’ll talk about how to make your reading more effective.
4 Reading Techniques that Will Boost Your Study
You’ll be surprised to find out that some of these reading techniques you use in daily life intuitively, whether you need to memorize something or quickly jump around in the text. Consequently, every technique has a purpose and main focus, so decide what is yours and pick one of the following methods.
1. Active Reading to Understand the Text
In case your primary aim is to understand, remember, and focus on the material, active reading is what you are looking for. Active reading involves critical engagement in what you are trying to read and trying to absorb information with determination to understand. By doing so, you separate the wheat from the chaff or, in other words, highlight the major points by reading thoughtfully.
We all have been in the situation when you are already in the middle of the page but can barely remember what you’ve just read about. Or you are going through the same paragraph over and over again, but your thoughts keep jumping around side things. If you want to tame your thoughts during reading sessions and understand the written stuff on the first attempt, consider trying active reading. It helps to:
- better understand what you are reading;
- not fall asleep while reading;
- focus and remember what you have read;
- save time by staying focused throughout the whole process.
Standard active reading consists of four steps:
- Preparation. Your first step is to get as much information as you can from the related information like title, questions, reading assignment, and pictures. By doing so, you get the first glimpse of what you will be dealing with.
- Reading. This is the most obvious part of this process, but hey, don’t do this like you always do. Try to highlight the points which you think are important/unclear/need additional attention.
- Capture the key ideas. You can even use a notebook to jot down the main ideas of the text. How can you get the main idea without being attentive? Draw parallels between your experience and the one described in the text, think of associations.
- Reviewing. Depending on the purpose, whether you read to complete the task or to get pleasure from the process, active reading brings good results. After an active reading session, try to make a short summary, to answer related questions, or retell the story to somebody else.
2. Scanning to Identify the Key Information
This reading technique is well-known for anyone who didn’t prepare for the class but could answer the teacher’s questions by quickly going through the text to catch the main ideas as well as to anyone who was looking for the name in the list or a meal for quick order.
When you run your eyes over the text, you capture the key phrases and points just the same way as you spot patterns in your daily life. This is a good way to get the overall idea of the text, but it’s not good for deep understanding.
3. Skimming to Get a General Idea
Unlike scanning, when you go over the whole text, skimming involves getting the idea from the first and last paragraph, as well as the table of contents and title. And again, the main benefit of this method is promptness and time-saving features.
4. Speed Reading to Understand the Text Fast
This method can be called the mixture of other techniques: it took the speed form scanning and the understanding from active reading. Speed reading includes:
- tracking words with pen or finger as you read;
- chunking or trying to read at least two words at a time;
- reducing subvocalization.
As a result, you save your time and improve your reading techniques and comprehension.
To choose the right reading technique, you need to identify your goal first. And remember, practice makes perfect: the more frequently you implement the chosen reading technique, the better results you get. Happy reading! If you don’t want to spend hours reading hundreds of pages, you should try Blinkist, a book summary service.