Six Reading Tips for Success at School!

Six Reading Tips for Success at School!

What is your motive?

Ask yourself this question, and try to provide an answer. If you don’t know why you are reading something, your concentration will wane quickly. You could be reading for pleasure, for a better grade, to prepare a report, etc.

If you want to gain more from your reading, do not answer this question with the following: “Because I have to.” When you must read a book, chapter, or article find another more productive reason for reading it – something that benefits you.

Read Actively

Now that you know your motive - your reason for reading a particular text, you should aim to read actively.

This means thinking for yourself. Do not expect the author to spoon-feed you. Begin before you start reading. Ask yourself what you expect to learn or where you think the author will go with this topic. You want to whet your appetite.

Engage yourself with the material by asking questions and seeking answers. Even reading for pleasure can benefit from this process, although it might be more loosely applied. The more meaning you extract from a text, the more enjoyable and beneficial it is.

Read for Meaning

Picture2Decoding words is necessary as a rudimentary skill; however, to truly read means combining ideas and thoughts, drawing connections, and making inferences.

Look to the context to discover more meaning than the individual words or sentences convey by themselves. Make connections with your existing knowledge. Think of similar material you have read before but also television shows, podcasts, videos, movies, lectures, and so on. The more substantial your network becomes, the more stable your retention will be. Also, these relationships will increase your interest.


Make predictions about what comes next. This activity focuses your attention. The more you read, the better you will become at making accurate predictions; however, accuracy is not as important as the process. Remember, you want to be actively engaged with the text.

Reading Method

Use a reading method such as the SQ3R method or this modified version that works well for many.

  1. Preview by reading (not skimming) the first and last paragraph and the first sentences of the remaining paragraphs.
  2. Read the text from start to finish right after your preview.
  3. Review by skimming over the passage. This will reinforce the material.
  4. Write a summary. Writing employs different parts of the brain and this will help consolidate the information. Also, by writing a summary, you are reviewing.
  5. Speak about what you are reading or what you have read. You can talk to others who are interested in the topic, or you can simply talk to yourself or produce an audio or video recording. This activity employs different parts of the brain also.

Read often!

Just as with a game or sport, you will become better with practice. The more reading you do, the more you will be able to read. Your speed will increase, and your comprehension will grow as you form new knowledge webs. Also, your ability to physically scan more effectively, use “chunking” instead of individual word reading, and extract meaning will improve.

Don’t hesitate to start reading.

Now you are ready, amped up, and eager to get started – aren’t you?

Let’s go!

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