Successful Study Habits: How to Read for Memory

Posted by Pine Crest School on February 28, 2019 at 11:54 AM

By Emily Roy ’20

Have you ever “read” a page in a textbook only to get to the bottom and realize you did not retain any of the information?

To read mindfully is to avoid wasting time scanning a textbook or novel while missing the main ideas or skipping over important details.

Although necessary for understanding new concepts, school related readings can be dry and abstract. Use these tips to read more effectively and improve your study habits:

1. Grab a Pencil

Jotting down questions in the margins keeps your mind from wandering while reading and provides an efficient way to review the material.

pencil and note on book

2. Write the main ideas of each passage.

Writing is better than your typing notes; it helps your brain connect the concepts it has in short-term memory to the movements of your hand in order to retain the information.

Learn more about Social and Emotional Education at Pine Crest School.

3. Doodle the Details

Drawing what you read increases memory and allows you to quickly review information later. Drawing activates multiple areas of the brain like handwriting, andpictures break up the monotony of notes by being interesting and different.

4. Highlight with Purpose

Highlighting entire sentences is useless to learning information. Be sure only to mark the words and phrases that contribute the most to the meaning of a particular paragraph or chapter. This will allow you to quickly find the most important parts of a reading.

books and earbuds

5. Listen while Reading

Playing an audio version of the book provides another sensory connection to the information and keeps you on track. Librivox offers recordings of older works that are free to listen to, but if you are looking for a recently published book, there are other services available for monthly rates. If you are reading a written work without an available recording, listen to white noise. The noise will block out auditory distractions if you are in a crowded study area.

6. Plan Ahead

Do not pull an all-nighter! Plan when and how much you read every day to avoid cramming the night before. Distributing the text over time helps you retain more information than trying to get it all in the night before.

week planner

These tips will help you read with purpose and commit challenging concepts to memory. Check out more mindfulness techniques to improve your study habits.

Pine Crest School is an independent college preparatory school serving grades pre-kindergarten through 12. Learn more about Pine Crest School, schedule your visit to one of our campuses in Boca Raton or Fort Lauderdale today.

Topics: Upper School, Admission, Middle School, 2019, Social and Emotional Learning