Reading Skills

Reading in college is different than reading a book or website for pleasure. New students may find the amount of readings to be more than they’re used to, and the content more complex.

Improve reading skills by practicing and following some of these tips.

  1. Keep blank flashcards nearby when reading for class or in a lecture. Look up definitions once and write down on a flashcard to refer to in case you forget.
  2. Skim readings to get the general information without reading every word. The main topics can often be found in titles, short summaries at the start or end of a chapter, or with bolded words in the text.
  3. After skimming, do the readings as quickly as possible. Reread parts that aren’t clear until you understand clearly.
  4. As soon as you’ve done one of the readings, write a few keywords or sentences in your own words about what you’ve just read. This will help you to remember the main points more easily and will be useful during exam preparation.
  5. Keep underlining to a minimum. One underline per paragraph is probably all you need, and never underline until after you’ve skimmed the reading. Underlines should highlight significant information, so use it sparingly.

Last updated December 4, 2015