Reading is a significant part of performing well on the SAT. A high score depends on the ability to quickly read and comprehend material in a variety of subjects. Efficient reading is also helpful in all areas of life, when you read efficiently you can complete homework faster and spend less time studying for exams. Here are four tips to improve your reading efficiency so that you can have more time and perform better on exams.
1) Read with Purpose
Don’t read mindlessly and expect to understand the material when you are done. Browse over headings, introductory paragraphs, graphs and figures, and conclusions and work to develop an idea about what the main points will be. Ask questions, so that when you go back and read the text you are looking for a specific answer. When you prepare before you read, you will retain more information and have a deeper understanding of the material after the first reading. You can avoid rereading sentences and paragraphs over and over.
2) Practice Daily
Purdue University points out that reading is a skill and must be practiced to be improved. A tip sheet from Purdue suggests reading at least fifteen minutes everyday. Spending time reading will help you develop both speed and comprehension. Expose yourself to varying levels of reading so that you have the ability to move quickly through easy material, as well as skills to tackle tougher vocabulary and complex subjects.
3) Avoid the Highlighter
An article from Princeton University suggests avoiding a highlighter. When you feel tempted to highlight a piece of text, make a note in the margin instead. Write something about the key concept or how it relates to other material. Write out a definition or an opposing viewpoint. Taking notes will help you engage with the material and internalize it much better than simply highlighting a passage.
4) Increase your Vocabulary
Having a broad vocabulary will help you comprehend complex passages quickly. You can increase your vocabulary by looking up unfamiliar words when you come across them. Try reading material that is challenging or covers subjects that are unfamiliar. You can also improve your comprehension by attempting to infer the meaning of unfamiliar words from their context. Guess the meaning first, then look up the word to see the actual definition. The skill of understanding words within context will be helpful on exams like the SAT.
Efficiency Comes With Practice
Ultimately reading efficiency comes with practice. Hone your skill by working on it a little bit every day. Being an efficient reader will help you score well on the SAT, but it will also be essential for everyday tasks throughout your life.
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