Ways & How

How to Improve Reading Comprehension

How to Improve Reading Comprehension

In the information age, it’s in your best interests to learn how to improve reading comprehension. With the amount of reading that needs to be done on a daily basis, we can often only spare enough time to skim through reading materials. Speed reading is a quick skill to learn, so this challenge is surmountable. It’s comprehension that will make or break you. Follow the steps below to improve your reading comprehension and your performance as well.

  1. You should know why you read. To get the most out of reading, you need to clearly define how the information fits into your overall workload. How does it relate to what you already know? What information do you already have about the topic, and how do you expect the new data to add to this information?

  2. Look through the material quickly. Note the structure of the book, the information available in the table of contents, and gauge which information is necessary reading and which can be skimmed or even passed over. You can judge the suitability of the material if you’ve done step 1 above well.


  3. Highlight, underline, and interact with the material. If you own the book, this is easy to do. Nowadays you can even highlight ebooks and make notes on them. But if you don’t own the book, or prefer not to ruin one by writing on it, then dedicate a notebook to this purpose. Take notes of citations, quotes, and any other important information you come across. You will need some guide questions to help you distill the material you read, particularly as it pertains to the purpose you defined in step 1 above. Evaluate what you know about the topic against the new information and adjust your opinion accordingly.

  4. Build your vocabulary as you go along. Take the time to note down words you don’t understand and to look them up. This may sound like a waste of time. But disciplining yourself to build up your vocabulary will serve you in good stead. Mastering extensive vocabulary will enable you to better comprehend what you read. When you want to understand better, there’s no doubt that vocabulary plays an important role.

  5. During a break in the reading or afterwards, ask yourself some essential questions: What did you learn? Did the information bolster your knowledge about the topic, and if so, how? What are the data and additional knowledge you picked up that are useful to know? What important lessons did you learn? If you can, discuss your reading with a friend who has read the same book or shares your interests. If you respect and trust your friend’s opinion, using him or her as a sounding board will solidify your learning and enable you to hone your arguments.

Leisure reading is a great stress-reliever. Reading to study is an invaluable habit and indispensable to any profession. Self-help reading is imperative for personal growth. Everything we do is greatly enhanced by reading. If we want to continue to advance in our professions and to improve as people, we need to get into the habit of reading and applying what we read. That’s why it is very important to know how to improve reading comprehension.


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