How to Improve Your Reading Comprehension
Posted May 2, 2007on:
If you’d like to improve your reading comprehension, try the SQ3R method. This is an acronym that means: Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review.
Here’s how it works:
Survey Your Text
Prior to reading, take a few moments to scan through your text. Get an overall feeling for how much you’re going to read, and how the text is sectioned off. It helps to read through all the headings and any thesis or conclusion statements during this time. This will help you understand the point of the reading prior to beginning.
After surveying your text, ask yourself some questions prior to reading. What questions do you have about the subject matter you’re about to read? What does the title of the text suggest? What does the author want to tell you about this subject? What’s the most important information on each page? Asking these types of questions will focus your mind on the text, and will help you pay attention. If you start to daydream, ask more questions and try to answer them.
As you read, try to find answers to the questions you have. Think through what the author is saying, and try to develop more questions as you read. If you have a lot to read, plan on dividing up the text so you can take adequate breaks. Studies suggest you’re more likely to remember the first and last things that you read. So divide up the text and take breaks.
Recite the Text
After reading a chunk of text, take a break and try to recite what you’ve just read. Try to summarize your reading as best you can. If you have trouble, look back at your reading to see what you’ve missed. This might take some practice, but pretty soon you’ll start remember what you’ve read a bit quicker.
After you’re finished reading, review what you just read. Ask yourself the same questions you had in the beginning of the reading, and see if you remember the answers. Think how the reading material fits with your class or assignment. Also think about possible ways you might be tested on the material, and you can best prepare.
Something that’s not mentioned in this method is the importance of taking notes. Note taking is very important to help you remember key facts. Just don’t get too wrapped up in taking notes without thinking through what you’re writing. Take notes on the most important parts of your reading, and something that will help you quickly review what you just read.