Are you worried that you have been reading a chapter of your book for some time now, yet you do not understand it? Are you tired of performing poorly in your class yet you are always revising? I know how it feels to be scolded for poor performances yet you have been reading. Do not judge yourself harshly. You are not stupid! You only need to apply the tips below on how to read and understand, and all will be well.
Keep scrolling through this article and by the time you are done reading it, you will be a good reader who understands what they read.
How to better understand what you read
1. Have a positive attitude
If you find a certain subject or chapter boring, you have to make-up your mind before reading it. Erase the stereotype of it being hard or boring from your head. Remember, if you read for the sake of reading you will still fail. However, read to understand, and at your best. For instance, some people find reading early in the morning appropriate; others enjoy reading during the day while others prefer studying at night. For a boring concept, read it during your best time. That is the time you have psyche in reading.
2. Do not cram
Always, avoid cramming rather read closely and skim faster (emphasize on the topics and the sub-headings). When you read and comprehend, the concept will stick in your mind. However, there is a possibility of forgetting something, when you cram. Also, if your teacher twists a question you had crammed, or test its application, definitely you will fail. The fact is that, you did not understand the concept; therefore you may not even notice it in a twisted question. Learn to read a concept over and over, until you understand.
3. Have full concentration
Find a quiet and comfortable place, away from loud music or other interference. There is no way you can understand a concept fully if your reading in an environment where other activities are progressing. This is due to the fact that your mind will be sub-dividend. You will be left with an option of reading over and over but understand very little. Secondly, avoid reading lying down since it will make you sleepy. A better position is to read while half sited and half lying.
You also need to focus on what you are reading. Do not allow yourself move to the next paragraph without understanding what you read from the previous one. If you find it difficult to comprehend, find other sources with the same concept and try to understand their arguments. Secondly, try to visualize whatever you are reading. By doing so, you will find more fun due to the suspense created. Also, creating an imaginary picture in your mind will help you sink deep into the topic. Remember, this cannot be applied in mathematical concepts.
Have fun while reading
If you still do not understand, lock yourself in a room and try to read loudly. Read it as dramatically as you want. Imagine things, circumstances and situations explained by the author. Remember to carry a glass of your favorite soft drink to enjoy the reading. Reading aloud leaves no concept unturned.
Taking regular breaks
Do not overwork your brain. Anytime you feel tired, take a break to refresh your mind. During the break, you can take a meal, sleep or even exercise. Get back to reading any time your mind is relaxed. To control yourself, you can set regular time interval for the breaks.
Draft short summaries
Reading and understanding will be much easier, if you opt to draft a summary after every page, paragraph or chapter. This will make your reading easier since anytime you need to refer to something from the section, you will go through the short summary.
Underlining or highlighting
You can also underline an important or interesting line in the chapter. Besides making it easier during revision, underlining or highlighting a sentence will always remain in your mind. However, avoid doing this everywhere and randomly since it will become a routine therefore, not simplifying your notes. You can also draft in the margin, a possible question from a particular concept and answer it.
After reading a chapter, it is advisable to find relating questions from past papers. Ensure you do not skip the chapter until you have answered all the related questions you had noted. You can also frame up questions which you will ask your colleagues or your instructor so that you can note their arguments on the same.
5. Hold discussions
After class, gather in a group and hold a discussion on the topic the teacher taught. This will enable you to compile diverse arguments and understanding from your classmates. Remember to note all interesting comments a friend raised and the group mood. This will be of great help during revision. Similarly, if you are alone, you can try talking out your arguments loudly, then taking drafts at the margin on your mood, and things you took longer to understand.
6. Put yourself in the writer’s shoes
If you are reading a novel, try putting yourself in the character’s shoes. Ask yourself questions like; if I were Jessica, would I get pregnant for Peter? Would I leave peter for Jonathan? Such questions will help you interact well with the novel.
7. Learn to read when there is time
Are you still wondering on how to better understand what you read? If you are the kind of person who reads because they have a test tomorrow, you need to change. The fact is, some concepts for instance mathematical, engineering among others demand for adequate practice. Secondly, it’s obvious you will be under pressure to cover everything in the unit, which is impossible. You will be forced to skip any involving concept and cram almost everything. You can only comprehend what you read, if you familiarize yourself with it, which can be achieved by reading oftenly.
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All in all, do not settle for having low intelligent quotient. Learn to read often and when there is time. You can also try challenging yourself by handling some tough concepts or enrolling in diverse online courses to always keep your brain engaged. Additionally, try to compile notes from different sources and always raise a question to your teacher or to brighter colleagues whenever you do not understand a concept. Also remember to summarize a chapter, concept or paragraph after reading it. Finally, if you adhere to this and apply these tips on reading and understanding, you will end up being a self-made genius.