A Winning Strategy for Reading Textbooks
Jack finally arrives at his small and cluttered room. He had a productive day at school, but he knows he needs to study for a test he has this Friday. He sits down at his desk and turns on his very bright lamp. The textbook that he grabs and lays on the desk is rather thick and is full of information about chemistry. He opens it to the chapter that is going to be prevalent on the test and stares at the long paragraphs of block text. Jack’s brain immediately realizes the difficulty of understanding this particular textbook.
If this unfortunate incident has ever happened to you, then this strategy is just for you. Reading textbooks can become a lot easier if you approach it the right way.
When you are reading a textbook, the first thing you need to do is look at the outline of the chapter. You need to have a clear idea of what the chapter is going to try to explain to you. Doing this will create a distinct organization of the material in your mind. Then, you can start reading the textbook.
While reading, make sure that your eyes are not just scanning the pages. Try to understand every word that it is presenting to you. When you come across new vocabulary, find out its definition and its application to the material you are reading. While you are reading the information, highlight important details and facts so that studying will be easier later. Also, take notes as you read to reinforce your understanding.
Take advantage of all of the diagrams, side articles, images, and charts that the textbook has. They are there to further your understanding of the material. Try to strengthen the connection between these visual aids and the text in your mind. When you do this, you will be able to see a clearer association between memorized ideas and their applications in the real world.
Also, do not be afraid to go over a section of the text more than once. When you have already read the material once, reviewing it is usually a lot easier to understand, and you already know what to expect.
Using this winning strategy, you can avoid the stress of studying from a textbook and easily understand the information that it presents to you.