As a student, do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the amount of documents you have to browse through, read and digest ? Then, this article is for you!
We will explain in a few paragraphs the benefits you will gain from reading efficiently. We will also explain to you how to do it!
What is the purpose of reading efficiently ?
You might not realize it yet, but fast efficient reading can really be a valuable asset in your studies.
By learning how to identify essential elements of a text you won’t need to read word by word. You will be able to scan faster through all the documents you have to study, which in turn will allow you to focus one those you really are interested in.
By skipping details and focusing on the text’s main ideas, your brain will have less information to process and will be fully able to grasp key concepts in your readings.
Develop your analytical skills
By reading faster and more efficiently you will be able to go through a greater amount of content about a specific subject.
You will read a variety of information, details and opinions (…) which will develop your expertise, your analytical skills and critical opinion.
Rewriting and explaining clearly
Your efficient reading will allow you to better organize essential information. And if everything is much clearer to you, it will be easy for you to explain what you learn in a concise and accessible way.
How to read efficiently ?
In the former paragraph, we already provided a few elements of response to the big question you’re now asking : “But how does one read efficiently then ? ” You need to identify essential elements, skip details, organize key sentences…but that’s not all.
The Feynman Technique
On Compilatio’s Facebook page, we regularly posted information coming from Lecture Rapide Blog (a French blog about fast reading) which gives a plethora of tips and tricks including a video entitled “Learn faster with the Feynman method”.
In summary, the Feynman technique suggests 4 steps to follow :
– Write the concept, the subject to understand and explain. This will allow you to provide a framework for your development and therefore, help you stay focused on the subject.
– Explain the concept to someone who has no knowledge on the subject. At this point, you will be able to find the holes in your understanding.
– Fill in the gaps of knowledge to pursue the explanation.
– Simplify your explanations. You can achieve this by using simple vocabulary or by using comparisons or illustrations or concept representations in the shape of diagrams…
> In fact, why not act as if you had to explain the concept to a child eager to learn about everything, with whom you’d have to talk using simple terms ?
Academic Research Tools
> Instapaper to save texts that you would like to examine later. This tool will allow you to read more easily by removing all external elements that could distract you.
Page layout, ads
> Highly to directly highlight essential elements in a text and only save those parts.
> Zotero a tool created specifically to allow you to organize and save your academic research.
Now it’s your turn! Efficient reading techniques require rigor and training but you will greatly benefit from them!