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HOW TO READ FAST AND UNDERSTAND

You have few weeks to your exams and you still haven’t prepared well for the exams with so many subjects to cover and at the same time, you don’t just want to read but also try to understand what you are reading try these few tips.

Like any skill worth mastering, a reading habit requires time and dedication to develop. However, to develop it, you can make a reading list, do something like a copy of your exam timetable in schools with lists of subjects you know you haven’t opened since the beginning of the term or session as the case may be, then subjects you’ve opened or can easily understand at the end of the list but make sure you read each subject at least twice or thrice before the exam date. This method if strictly followed, will help you to make sure you leave no subject untouched. You could make your subjects two per day a difficult and an easy subject. You don’t have to finish reading the two because it may overwhelm you and you get easily bored.

Set time

You should have a few set times every day when you’ll read for at least 1- 2hours. These are times that you will read no matter what happens each day. For example, you can make it a habit to read early in the morning when the brain is refreshed or afternoon or evening depending on the time great for you. That’s a great start, and by itself would be an excellent daily reading habit. But there’s more you can do.

Find a quiet place: Find a place in your home where you can sit in a comfortable chair (don’t lay down unless you’re going to sleep) without interruptions. There should be no television or computer near the chair to minimize distractions, and no music or noisy family members/roommates. If you don’t have a place like this, you can create one, if you can read with friends like a group thing too, cool.

Begin with the end in mind

Think about your objectives, whether you want a global overview or detailed information from what you are reading, as well as how much time you are prepared to invest, these decisions will help to determine your reading pace. Jot down some questions you want to be able to answer at the end using past questions will help in this case.

Skim first; previewing a movie before watching it gives you context and lets you know what to expect. Likewise, skimming through a text before reading it prepares you to quickly gain an understanding of what you’re about to read. To preview a text, scan it from the beginning to the end, paying special attention to the headings, subheadings, anything in a bold or large font, and bullet points.

Skimming has a lot of advantages because it primes the memory, making it easier to remember when you read it the second time, it orients thinking, helping you to know where the important content is in the text, creates an overall sense for the document, which in turn makes it easier to remember certain things.

Don’t stumble from words to words because you may not really stand the chance of comprehending what you are reading and it will also slow you down because the mind is preoccupied with recognizing the letters and their arrangement in each word. This is the main reason why you may not remember what you read. According to author Tim Ferriss, this method is, called regression, here is a tendency to skip our eyes back and forth to dwell on words we’ve just read, it’s kind of like a “visual stammering” which slows us down. One of the ways to break this habit is to be mindful of it when reading and jotting down cogent points every time you notice yourself doing it.

Countless times, students might read a passage once or twice or even three times and still not understand or get the question asked about the passage because they can’t remember what they read.

Jot and Jot again; don’t forget to always take note of points while reading because you don’t want to carry that big note, again and again, your jotter can help while revising trust me this is worth it. It may slow you down a bit but it is worth it in the long run because you will remember faster what you jot down than just reading without taking a note down.

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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