University work, exams and never ending reading lists….how are we meant to fit it all in? You might also be thinking this stuff isn’t as interesting as Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings so why would I even want to intentionally pick this book up and read.
Before we get into how to read faster in and effective and efficient manner, let me ask you this one question. How do we learn?
For starters we learn in 3 different ways:
So let’s start with listening i.e. audio books. They are a fantastic way of learning because that way you can do two things at once…..eat a pizza and listen to a book! Our brains can actively take in information from multiple streams and compartmentalize it. However the BIG problem with this is that MOST if not all of your university books are NOT available in the audio format (I mean have you seen the SIZE of those things!). So this option isn’t really great for students plus even if it is available what if they person reading it has a mono tone voice…..utter dire, kill me now sort of situation!
In order to do or act upon your knowledge and skills you actually need to understand the concepts behind it….which again goes back to…..READING!
Reading is a skill, it takes time to practice and perfect. Just like when we learn to drive a car, the automation of thinking and movements does not happen overnight. BUT we also know that reading certain books are not interesting, there are no fights or wizards or romance so what will make me hold this book up and finish the chapter. So get comfortable and find a place that works for you. I experimented and found the bed was a no no as I would fall asleep so reading outside or on a sofa would keep me alert.
3 ways to read Faster:
Find your interest link with what your reading. By that I mean, whats the connection, how can you relate to it e.g. you may have a relative with diabetes or blood pressure so draw back on your experiences and relate and find that link. This stops you from getting bored and going down the rabbit hole.
Pre-reading. So what this means is essentially skim read the chapter first. Focus points will be headings, bold key features, context and the last part of the chapter where you will find summary and questions. By pre-reading your brain is picking up on most important parts you need to understand and notice the most relevant parts of the chapter. Skimming will give you the general idea to find the main paragraphs and context that are most relevant. When you find those paragraphs, pay attention to the first and last sentence of that paragraph
Summaries what you have learnt, i.e. post it note challenge. Get all relevant information on one sheet. That way you have effectively and efficiently condensed a chapter down and optimised revision.
This summary should help increase the way you learn and apply that knowledge