Most of us want to read textbooks faster to cover our syllabus quickly, right? However, not everyone is familiar with the tips and tricks involved in how to read textbooks faster.
Therefore, the purpose of this article is to discuss important strategies through which you can save a significant amount of time by reading faster and stop slogging through massive passages of text.
Preview the Text
Previewing the text before you actually start reading it is important to understand the context. Simply scan the text from beginning to end to get the gist of it. You don’t have to skim through the entire chapters of a textbook.
Instead, focus on each topic individually. Pay attention to the headings and subheadings within a topic to get an idea about the different major aspects of a topic. Skim through the starting and concluding paragraphs to understand what the topic is all about.
You should approach different types of text strategically to ensure you are able to digest the material. Planning becomes even more important when you want to learn how to read a textbook faster to prepare for a text or an exam.
Consider your reading goals and what you hope to achieve by the end of the reading session. Note down the important information, study questions, and other critical points that will help you in your reading session.
Planning your reading approach is also dependent on the type of material you are reading. For instance, if you are reading a history textbook, you can think of the historical events as a story so that you remain engaged throughout the chapter.
On the other hand, reading legal or scientific textbooks is boring for a lot of people. Hence, you should plan to read certain passages slowly so that you are able to fully understand them.
If you want to make the most out of your reading session, you should remain fully focused by minimizing the external noises and other distractions near you. Be mindful when your thoughts start wandering while you are reading.
A lot of make the mistake of not focusing when they are trying to read a textbook quickly. It will waste your time as you will have to go back and re-read a chapter to understand it. Therefore, it is important to remain focused in the first place.
Don’t Read Every Word
You might be surprised by the fact that you don’t have to read every single word to understand a topic. Studies indicate that most people can scan the text within 1.5-inch chunks. However, the exact size is dependent on the font size and type of text. Generally, it consists of three to five words.
So, if you want to speed up your reading, you should move your eyes in a scanning motion to cover these three to five words in one go instead of reading every word separately. Benefit from your peripheral vision to read a textbook faster by focusing on blocks of words.
If you are used to subvocalizing as you read, you should try to eliminate this habit. Subvocalization simply means silencing, pronouncing each and every in your head as you read it. Subvocalization is very common among readers, but it slows down reading significantly and distracts you from understanding the concepts included in the textbook.
Don’t Read Every Section
It is not important to read each and every section of a textbook. In fact, if you are preparing for a test, there is a high chance that you can quickly read the text by skipping some sections.
Most of the textbooks have separate sections for additional facts, exercises, etc. If you want to read the textbook quickly, you should ignore these extra sections and focus on the main information present in the book.
Write a Summary
Once you have finished reading a chapter, you should summarize it in your own words. It will help you in making organized notes and going through them at a later stage to prepare for a test and ace the exams.
You should note down the important points you understood during your reading session. Moreover, answer the important questions that you think can arise from the chapters. Ultimately, writing the summary of the textbook chapters in your own words will help you better understand and learning of different topics.
The bottom line is that reading a textbook quickly and effectively is the composition of different tips and tricks. There is no one specific answer to the question of how to read textbooks faster. Instead, you should follow all of these tips together to ensure you are able to get through different types of textbooks quickly and grasp as much information as possible to ace your exams.