Barriers to Reading Comprehension

So, you want to improve your reading. Do you fall asleep when you read? Do you read an entire chapter… and then not remember a thing? Do you have more reading to do than you think possible? Are you easily distracted?

Well, regardless of what may affect your ability to read, there are a few basic things that you can do to improve your comprehension.

First, deal with the physical factors. What does that have to do with reading, you may ask? If you eat right, sleep well (and for a sufficient amount of time), and exercise regularly, you will be more alert and better able to concentrate. Also, be aware of what conditions affect your ability to read. Lying on your bed may not be the best way to avoid sleeping while reading. Also, you will probably not be as alert when you are tired and hungry. Maybe you need to read in a quiet place, or maybe having the TV on is helpful for you. Figure out what works for you and practice creating an environment in which you can concentrate.

So, what if you know what works for you… but that book that you have to read for your history class is just about the most boring text ever? Maybe you’re asking yourself why you signed up for that physics class, or why you’re required to take American Heritage. If you really feel that way, but you are nevertheless stuck in the class, you might want to consider changing your attitude. Don’t worry; I’m not going to start quoting your mother, but if you want to get anything out of your text, you must be motivated to read it and understand it.

Okay, so now you’re thinking, “I know all this stuff, but I want to become a better reader!” Great! Once you have the right environment and the right attitude, you are ready to focus on reading strategies and how to effectively mark your textbook. Find out how soon, right here on the CASC blog!

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