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How to Remember What You Read

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If you really want to remember the things you read while studying, you will need to become a critical read. To become a critical reader, you need to know your purpose for reading whatever material you want to read, you will have the ability to create mental pictures of important parts of your study.  As you read, you need to ask yourself questions with regards to what you are reading. After reading, you can store what you have read in your long-term memory by discussing or teaching others from what you have studied. You can also reword them in your own word and by rereading important parts of the material.

Setting Yourself Up to Read and Remember

Know what you want to archive in the material: Ask yourself questions like, “Why am I reading this? What am I meant to learn from reading this topic? What are my going to do with what I learn from this? Understand your purpose of reading material will help you become motivated to stay focused and study.

Become acquitted with the topi: Become acquitted with the topic and the subtopic in the material. This you can do by quickly searching the internet. Why? you may ask. this is because the more you get familiar with the topic, the more you will be able to make associations and remember better.  For example, if you will be reading about “shear force and bending moment”, type in “Shear force and bending moment” in your search engine. Then, click on an article, for example, a Wikipedia article, and familiarize yourself with the basic terms of shear force and bending moment.

Read in segments: You can lose focus when reading for a very long time, and when you do, your reading will become a waste of time. Therefore, to maximize your focus, read with short segments. That is after reading for about 50 minutes, take a break of 10 to 15 minutes and continue.

Also, see how to read for long hours without losing focus or getting bored.

if you wish, you can stretch your reading time by steadily increasing the amount of time you read each day or week. For example, if you read with segments of 10 to 15 minutes one week, read for 20 to 25-minute segments next week.

Try to become a critical reader by

Taking notes and highlighting important parts: As you read, try to take down the important information on the topic. by tactically writing out or taking note of important parts, you will remember the information better. You can also highlight important concepts by underlining them or write down ideas that come to your mind as you read.

Link the material to something you know: Associate new information with information you already know. This will help your brain will store the new information in your long-term memory bank.

Create mental pictures with your mind eye: Creating mental pictures for the content you read will help you remember the content better than just reading the content without any mental images. Make mental pictures of important events, concepts, or people. For example, remember an important date, such as when a game began, by imagining the game in your head with the date in big letters.

Read out loud: To help you remember what you have read, try and read them out loud, or try to use the wordings of what you are reading to a rhyming lyrics with songs you already know. By remembering this song you have rhymed it with, you will definitely remember what you read.

Ask yourself questions about the material: While reading the material, ask yourself, “How does this material fit into what I already know and do not know?” “Why did the author mention this?” “Do I understand this concept or word? where is the evidence for this statement?  or, “Do I agree with the author’s conclusions? By asking and answering these questions, you will be able to remember relevant information much better.

To help you remember what you have read

Reword or rewrite what you read in your own words: After reading a section or page, try to write or say in your own word what you have read. By so doing, you will be able to know which information you remember and which information you cannot remember. Then you can go back to the page or section to re-read or rewrite the information that you could not remember, or had trouble putting in your own words.

Discuss the material with someone or teach someone from the topic: If you discuss what you have read or taught someone (classmate, friend or family) what you have read, it will help create new associations in your memory. It will also help you see which information you understand and the ones you can remember thereafter you can go back and re-read the information you had trouble relating and remembering. Then, discuss the information with a friend or classmate again member again.

Re-read the material: Repetition is key to remembering any kind of information. After reading a topic, reread it again, again and again, as long as time permits. This will help you become more familiar with the topic

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