How To Improve Your Reading Comprehension

Reading comprehension

Research shows it’s more effective to read non-fiction several times quickly and layer your comprehension (understanding more on each consecutive read) than it is to read it through once, cold, from the beginning to the end. So skim an article or a chapter before you read it, asking yourself what you need from the material, and then go back and read it to answer your questions. And realize that several factors can affect your reading rate and comprehension:

  1. Entry level
  2. Purpose for reading
  3. Interest in the material


Your entry level

Your familiarity with the material can determine how fast you read. If you’re totally unfamiliar with a subject, you might want to learn the concepts and vocabulary before you tackle the material itself. You can do this by studying the glossary of terms, often in the back of a non-fiction book.


Your purpose for reading

Let your purpose for reading (to get an update, learn a skill, read for fun, or satisfy a boss or a professor) determine your level of comprehension: remember in depth (about 90-100%), for fun (60-80%) or just be aware the material exists if you might need it again (30%).


Your interest in the material

Do you resist reading boring material? If that’s the case, you might want to speed up and get through it quickly.

Accom­plished speed readers still read some things more slowly than others, and they have the extra time to do that because of all the time they save on their other reading.


The best comprehension test

Tell someone about what you read. If no one is available, report to yourself.  Turn to the contents, index, or study questions and give your report from that or speak from the subtitles. You’ll know right away what you remember and what you need to read again. If you draw a blank, you’ll know where you need to study some more. If you can talk about it, you know it.

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Leave A Reply (3 comments So Far)

  1. Dr. Z
    3 years ago

    I just finished this article and tried out the idea in your last paragraph. I realized I read the article but very little of what I read was still in my brain. I had to reread the article again and pay more attention.

  2. home security
    3 years ago

    Every weekend i used to visit this website,
    for the reason that i want enjoyment.

  3. Striver
    2 years ago

    This is good! My big fear is when I read fast I won’t comprehend what I’ve read. This article seems to answer those questions. I like the self-comprehension test.