By Tanveen Rai, 3rd year Biology/Psyc student
The third week of school has officially begun. And for some of us this week means serious catch up. There are lectures to attend, assignments to do, tests to take, and of course textbooks to read. I honestly can’t believe how fast time is going. How I wish I could make it stop (at least for a little while).
The most time consuming and quite frankly boring task for me are my readings. I HATE READING TEXTBOOKS! So how do I really feel you ask… But I am learning how to make this whole process a lot more enjoyable.
A few tips from me to you:
- Make a schedule and designate when you will read what. Try to stay on top of it. Just remember going home to a chapter to read versus a stack of books is a lot less stressful.
- Read for 50 minutes then walk away for 10. Take a break, because you deserve it! Giving yourself even just ten minutes to relax will help you concentrate better.
- Get in the mood! The material will be more interesting if you want to read it. This is easy to do for classes you enjoy but even if you don’t like the class pretend you do. I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy but trust me it works.
- Scan the chapter first. Look at the subtitles, summaries, bold or italicized words, and figures to get a general idea of what you will be reading about. This will allow you to have something to build on when you actually start reading.
- Read with a purpose. I have a problem with zoning out when I read. I’ll read something and then two seconds later not remember what I just read. Instead of rereading the same page a hundred times engage in active learning by asking yourself Questions as you read.
- Review the chapter. I bet you thought you were already done! Not quite. After reading the material you need to scan it again and make sure you understood everything. This is the only way to get one up on your textbook!
And if you really want to show the book its place, you’ll review the chapter again in a day or two [editor’s note: this moves the information into your long-term memory so you don’t forget everything in a month!]. It’s not so bad. “I got my [coffee], I got my [books]/ I would share it but today I’m yelling/ [Books] don’t kill my vibe!”
For more information about reading and retaining textbook information, visit our Reading and Notetaking module.
Photo courtesy of Kamal H. from Flickr Creative Commons.