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Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension

The average person reads about 250 words per minute. This is the speed an individual not under any pressure uses when reading a particular text. However, the normal reading speed may be hindered or frustrated by bad reading habits and inability to comprehend well and this is where Reading Comprehension comes in.

Mastering the art of reading and learning to improve reading comprehension is essential for success both in educational institutions and in everyday life. Even after the mastery of this skill, digesting and recalling the contents of the text being read remains an obstacle for both young and old. Thankfully, this obstacle can be surmounted. The following steps can be used to surmount this obstacle and are not limited to students only but to teachers, parents, and any other individual in any field related to academia. The steps are as follows:

ENGAGE IN PRE-READING TASKS: Before opening a book to study or read, take some actions. If the book is concerning a certain historical event, think of what you know about the topic or some knowledge you’ve had earlier on about it and try as much as possible to recall the knowledge. It will go a long way in assisting your comprehension while reading. If you are in a study group, discuss what you think with others and jot down some important points from them. Now you’ll have a head start or prior knowledge as to what you are to see in the book.

DON’T NEGLECT SNIPPET INFORMATION ABOUT THE BOOK: Most books have little information about them on the back cover of the book, the front cover too. Do not neglect them, rather read them to get a foresight as to what the book is all about. Also, many books contain introductory pages which contain little details and prologue to the book. Some book publishers include their websites which contains additional information about their book. They tend to be useful on the long run. Do make use of them. During the course of reading all the information, look out for:

  • Points that tell you the kind of text you’re reading.
  • New information learnt and those you expect to learn in the course of reading the book main.
  • The genre of the book whether fact, fiction, educative or fun.
  • The major things that catch your attention in those information.

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ENDEAVOUR TO IMPROVE YOUR VOCABULARY BY LEARNING NEW WORDS: During the course of reading, note new and unfamiliar vocabulary words. Have a dictionary nearby, check the meaning of the words as you encounter them and write down their meanings in your jotter. Writing the meaning of new words with hand help retain the meaning of words better.


ASK PERSONAL QUESTIONS AND REFLECT ON THE TEXT WHILE READING: Questions are bound to arise in your mind while reading. Solution is to just continue reading in search of answers to those questions. Best bet are to note the questions and if you have instant answers to them, write them down if not, continue in search of the answers in the text. Do remember to write/ jot as writing down points aid reading comprehension.


TEST YOURSELF AFTER READING: After reading, endeavor to set a small quiz or test for yourself on the key points of the book/text like the main idea of the book, the important characters, information learnt. Make a summary of the text using your own ideas and thoughts about the book to help develop a deeper understanding about the book.



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