If you’ve been spending an awful time reading only to get very little in return, either because you don’t remember much or you have difficulties reading, then these tips are for you. Only promise me you won’t ditch them the moment you leave here. Promise? Cross your heart!
If you’ve done that now then let’s proceed to the best part. Shall we?
(1) Plan your reading schedule
You have to commit to your reading goals by first writing them down that way you can effectively monitor your progress. It’s not enough if you have golden intentions to read for hours on end within a particular day, you have to follow up your intentions with timely actions. And that means putting pen to paper on what you intend achieving reading. Pack your reading schedule with measurable and achievable activities as this will help you do your reading at the set times and avoid procrastination.
(2) Know when you enjoy reading best
Don’t just copy someone else’s reading time. Take time to find out when you enjoy reading best. Times when your reading really flows and your rate of assimilation is very high. It could be in the wee hours of the morning, during the afternoon or at night. Only you can tell when that is. But early morning is regarded as the most productive time.
(3) Do your reading in bits
If you haven’t noticed the mind prefers short terms goals to long term. Set eight hours of continuous reading and see where that will get you. Nowhere. The reason is because you’ll constantly be thinking about how you could keep up your reading for the next eight hours and that will get you very discouraged. Instead split that time into short intervals of reading, say reading for straight one hour at first and then making additions as you go along.
(4) Observe short breaks
Don’t be the sort who wants to remain sat in one spot reading for endless hours. You may succeed doing that but I’m afraid you might not recollect much from your reading. The human attention span is at 30% after 45 minutes of focused reading and this decreases the longer you read. So take breaks at intervals during the course of your reading to help you regain about 90% of your attention span. Get your blood flowing by walking around or go grab a bite after about an hour of focused study.
(5) Focus on Keywords.
Keywords are concepts or jargons critical to understanding the chapter and content of the work you are reading. Also focus on the paragraphs surrounding the keywords. Once you understand the keywords fully and can connect them to the main topics, you’ll have grasped most of the topic.
(6) Learn to test yourself
When preparing for my JAMB exams right after finishing secondary school, I would read some select topics for a week and then at the end I’d pick up past JAMB questions and answer some questions in the areas I had read. That gave me a clue on my level of preparation and helped me focus on the areas I came up short. Do this too for any exam you are preparing for.
Patrick Herbert is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Law Student Hub. He is an LL.B. Law graduate from the University of Benin, Nigeria. He’s a life enthusiast, a budding writer and internet entrepreneur. Patrick is deeply passionate about law and research and has inspired many with his thought-provoking articles. To get in touch, follow him on social media.