How To Improve Reading Comprehension Skills: Best Tips and Tricks

How To Improve Reading Comprehension Skills:

People keep books at home for various reasons. Books can be part of decor, instruments to sharpen the mind, or a person’s best friend. The basic idea is to read and read well. Reading well includes thoroughness, comprehension, attentiveness, accuracy, and objectivity. The subject matter has to be understood to the best of one’s abilities, particularly if the purpose is to clear examinations and achieve distinction. Still there is a question How to improve reading comprehension skills hen read the following guidelines can help in improving comprehension skills while studying books, articles, essays, or online information.

Reading Requires Appropriate Timing:

Reading during  the daytime is advised, but the reader can choose depending on his or her convenience. The reader should avoid sitting down with a book at the end of a long day or after performing some other activity requiring physical and mental efforts. It is best not to read after watching TV for a long time or immediately after returning from a sporting activity. The body and mind need some relaxation and rest, before initiating a cerebral activity like reading a lengthy passage or essay. The place should also be chosen carefully, so as to avoid disturbance and distraction.

Reading Should Be Target-Oriented:

Reading should be pursued with adequate planning and dedication. The purpose has to be clearly defined in one’s own mind. The subject matter has to be chosen carefully and target has to be set after sufficient contemplation. The reader can decide on a fixed number of – pages in a book/articles/essays/passages/etc.,. This depends on the complexity of subject matter, allocated time, and  one’s own abilities  in terms of language skills, reading speed, and mental acumen. Guidance can be sought in this matter from more experienced aspirants or guidance counselors.

To Memorize Or Not To Memorize:

Depending on the context, the reader can make a choice whether it is good to memorize the content or not. If the subject matter is oriented towards technical issues, exact sciences, or other professional and academic disciplines, it is better not  to memorize. Comprehension is the key here because the idea is to understand and learn the concepts , and not just repeat. Comprehension or understanding has to develop clarity and individuality. However, if rote learning is unavoidable the candidate can always rely on tools like memory and flash cards, mnemonics , and list building.

Practise Makes Perfect”

There are no shortcuts in life, unless you are a risk taker. It is advisable to inculcate the habit of reading on a daily basis. A newspaper article, a short story, or even comics and cartoons can be read initially to develop the reading habit. Slow readers can start by trying to read for 15 minutes to half an hour daily. Once the candidate has settled into a reading routine, then a systematic method can be followed to develop comprehension skills. Vocabulary has to be built simultaneously using online resources, traditional dictionaries and thesauruses, or word games. The mind also has to be sharpened by developing attention skills and concentration.  All these activities are part of the groundwork necessary for taking learning and understanding to the next level.

Fundamental Understanding With Focused Approach:

Slow and steady wins the race. Learning comprehension requires the development of fundamental skills in reading. The readers with sufficient schooling and college education would already be comfortable with the language used as medium of instruction. The candidate can do a self-assessment study to figure out where he or she stands in terms of reading speed, comprehension, the ability to recollect and summarize, and general learning capabilities.

A qualitative grading like the following can be given to oneself – Beginner, Intermediate, or Expert. Intermediate to Expert readers would be those who are familiar with study techniques like scanning, searching, surveying, and skimming. Experts would have no problem in taking a direct reading approach by focussing on the core details, summarizing the content, and developing a fairly good conceptual understanding with sufficient quickness.

Tips And Pointers To Beginners:

Beginners who are trying to crack the reading comprehension tests  can study the following tips and pointers to develop learning skills that are integral to any study programme-

  • Become an active reader, and read aloud if you can. Do not take passive approach even if the essay or passage is lengthy with tedious subject matter.
  • Try to find out the main idea of the  passage, page, or chapter in that order. Read twice if necessary. Look at the pointers like title, headings, and subheadings.
  • Take notes using familiar pattern or seek assistance from a friend or guide.
  • Understand the vocabulary being used, and separate opinions from facts. All writers have a particular style and the words they use can be grouped together to improve fluency.
  • Ask yourself questions, revise, and then proceed with confidence.
  • Integrate all the above mentioned steps and summarize in simpler words to improve efficiency in comprehension, and boost self-confidence.

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Updated: October 14, 2016 — 6:31 pm

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