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Reading a Textbook - And Actually Understanding It

"rEaD tHe BoOk", your professor said. And like most people who don't hate themselves, you chose not to. Rational. But now the test is coming up, and you're starting to wonder if they were right. The thing is, the walls of text and formal writing style can make it difficult to really focus on and learn from what you're reading. So how do you make sure that study time is going to be put to good use? We've got some tips that might help

1. Change How You Read

Unfortunately, textbooks don't often include surprise twists at the end of the chapter. You can usually count on the mitochondria to be the powerhouse of the cell, and not the surprise killer of a mystery novel.

What this means for you is that it's okay to skip to the end of the chapter or book, we won't tell your elementary school librarian. It's important to know what the goal of what you're reading is, and there will often be questions at the end of the chapter that will prepare you for what you are about to read. This will also give you an idea of the questions that may be on a test and help that info pop as you read the chapter.

2. Take Notes

Unless your preferred method to get to sleep at night is reading about American Government, keeping your head out of the book as much as possible is going to be ideal. There are simply too many different ideas in your books to read them and know it all without any other aid.

This is where notes become essential, if you write down the key ideas as you go, it'll save you a lot of time in the long run. When you're brushing up before a test, your own notes will be much shorter and more approachable than your 15-pound anchor with pages. Not only this, but research has shown that writing things down help you remember key ideas much better.

3. Budget Your Time

Attempting to read a textbook for 5 straight hours is pretty unreasonable, so be sure to parcel out the time you spend in the book. After you get too far in, you'll lose your focus and the time won't be useful anymore. You should allow 5 minutes per page, and plan to read for about an hour at a time.


Once you're finally free of your books at the end of the semester, remember that NWA Buyback is the best place to sell textbooks in Northwest Arkansas!

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