Am I Reading a Textbook Efficiently?

Posted on:
Student Lifehacks
reading textbooks efficiently

Do you know that feeling when you’re reading the same line for ten times and not grasping the sense at all? Because I do. And I’m pretty sure that’s a very common problem for students who don’t know how in the world it is possible to learn so many chapters in one night before the test (mind you, the “night” does not mean eight hours you should be sleeping).

Here are some tips that will help you. Nothing particularly mysterious or any terrible secrets passed down from generation to generation of people with straight A’s, just a small guide to improve your reading and studying habits and to help you cope with college homework.

  1. First, find a nice location. It’s quite important to both sit comfortably (so that nothing would distract you) and feel collected—i.e., not lying on your back with a textbook threatening to slip out of your hands and land on your face. No judging, but I don’t find that studying position extremely efficient. 
  2. Second, look through the chapter. Evaluate the length of the chapter and take a glance at the definitions and bolded headlines—in general, just try to understand what you’re about to read. You can also check out the questions at the end of the chapter and keep them in mind while reading in more detail. 
  3. Having a somewhat understanding of the key terms will also come in handy. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the definitions from the chapter. That means they won’t be too foreign to you anymore when you read the text or encounter them somewhere else.
  4. If you’re short on time, skip the unimportant parts that won’t be covered in the test or exam. They might serve a good purpose when you’re reading slowly and for your own interest, but not if you need other things to be done now.
  5. Many students often highlight the key concepts in the book, but it’s a bad idea if you’re planning to sell your textbook afterward. Read through these important tips to maximize your buyback for used textbooks and avoid silly mistakes while using the book. In this case, it’s best that you write out the important definitions (and then highlight as much as you want). Take into account that many studies suggest we remember things better when we write them down.
  6. Finally, go to the questions at the end of the chapter once more, and this time, try to answer them. Reviewing the chapter in a few days will also help you remember more, but this applies only to such cases when you have the luxury of a couple more days.

Does your room have that shelves with college textbooks you no longer use?
Get some cash easily and quickly by selling them on
Also, you can
buy or rent used books you need there.

Iliana K