Knowing how to read and assimilate easily is an essential skill. Reading, as simple as it sounds can be tedious. It could be a bore sometimes too. The worst part is forgetting everything you have just read minutes after leaving your reading desk. If you are a student then you can understand what I am saying. When exams are around the corner, you try to read. When it seems words are dancing before your eyes, you resort to cramming. Cramming is not good and it is not reliable either.
Another thing you try sometimes is what I call crash reading. Some minutes or an hour to the exam, you open your book and rush through everything in it. It works for a few people but for the average person, it is a no-no. These tips on how to read and assimilate easily have helped me a lot and I am very sure they will help you too.
Below are my 5 tips on how to read and assimilate easily:
- Read in a comfortable environment
- Understand the keywords in the material before intensive study
- Take notes
- Take your time
- Take breaks
1. Read in a comfortable environment
If you ask anyone where best to read, most folks will tell you to read in a quiet environment. This is in line with the longstanding custom of reading in a library. It helps, I agree, but it does not work with everyone. I have heard someone say her ear buzzes whenever she is in the library. This is due to the extreme peace and quiet of the library according to her. People are different. What works for A might not work for B. So I say read in a comfortable environment. It could be the library for you. It could be in a room with some music turned on too. Whatever works for you, go with it. You will find yourself understanding what you are reading in no time.
2. Understand the keywords in the material before intensive study
Keywords are those words that occur frequently in the material you are reading. If you do not understand these keywords, you are not likely to understand anything in the material at all. So, before you actually start reading, take a look at these keywords. Look up the ones you do not know in a dictionary. Make sure you understand their meanings well before reading the whole material. This way, your train of thought can flow and you can read and assimilate easily.
3. You can assimilate better by taking notes when reading
This might sound unnecessary but overtime, I have come to find that it helps. I am not saying you should write down another comprehensive note. Just some jotting down will do. When you write down some points from what you are reading, your brain becomes familiar with the idea. That way it sticks and you have little chances of forgetting. The more you write, the more you assimilate.
4. Take your time
Reading, as I said earlier can be tedious. It requires your full concentration. So, if you will not spend quality time at your reading desk, then do not bother. Serious reading is not something that should be hurried. If you want to assimilate, take your time. Break your material into short paragraphs. Read the first one and understand it before going to another. It will take time but it pays at the end. Anything worth doing is worth doing well.
5. Taking breaks when reading helps you to assimilate better
This is a very crucial aspect of the whole reading process though it is considered unnecessary by many. It is better to take breaks between reading sessions than read at a stretch. This way, you do not get bored with what you are reading. It also helps you relax. This is why we have break intervals on our timetables at school. You could draw up a timetable outlining what you want to read and then input breaks in it. It could be every thirty minutes or every hour. It is left for you to decide. You could try some fun game in your break time. It is best though if you take a short nap. When you wake up, your brain is refreshed and you can continue reading effectively. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Knowing how to read and assimilate easily will make your reading sessions more productive. Follow the above tips and reading will become an activity you will always look forward to.