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Active Reading Strategies Can Help In Your Revision For Exams

Aug 17, 2008
Reading skills are extremely important for anyone who wishes to acquire information, whether for a job, an education or simply a personal interest. Yet literacy alone is not a guarantee that one can read effectively. Everyone has had an experience of reading a page only to realize that not a single sentence on that page can be recalled. This is an unfortunate example of distracted, inattentive reading which wastes the reader's time and contributes nothing to his or her knowledge of the reading materials subject.

Effective reading skills are especially important for students, who are expected to study independently and absorb a bulk of written material. Preparing for class, reading for homework, researching for essays and studying for exams all require the ability not only to read but to understand and retain what has been read.

For this reason, active reading strategies that engage the mind of the reader and heighten comprehension are invaluable for students who are preparing for exams. By keeping the mind working during the reading process, active reading strategies can help students maximize the results of their studies and avoid wasting time.

One of the most important things to remember about active reading techniques is that the mind should be participating in the reading process. Active reading is not about taking notes or marking passages to reread later, so a student who is engaged in active reading should avoid highlighting passages of text, taking notes in a book's margin or underlining key phrases. Instead, the student should attempt to write notes on a different piece of paper, forcing the memory to retain the ideas from the reading material and prompting the mind to reproduce the key concepts.

In order for any of this to happen, the student must have a basic understanding of the material, and any inability to write down notes on a separate sheet of paper should be taken as a sign that the passage needs to be reread with greater attention.

One of the best ways to make sure that your reading time is productive is to create easy-to-read visual aids based on the material after you have read it. For example, after reading a description of historical events, close the book and try to create a rough
timeline of the occurrences you just read about. Anticipation of the need to create a timeline should keep your mind active during the reading process.

Rather than passively observing the material, you should try to retain as much of the information as possible. After making a first attempt at a timeline with the book closed, reread the passage and find out whether you missed any important points.

This technique will not only help you remember facts and dates from the passage, it will also alert you to the types of information that you tend to miss while reading. Over time, your practice with active reading techniques will make engaged reading second nature to you and will spare you the frustration of wasted study time.
About the Author
Jon Kelly is a published author who writes articles, that includes ideas about studying techniques and speed reading. To get more ideas about speed reading. Please visit:Speed Reading Specialist.com
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