Tips for Improving Your Reading Comprehension as an Adult

Female vocational school adult student studies in a library using these tips and strategies for improving reading comprehension as an adult.
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You’ve taken the first step to a new career and a new life — you’re going back to school! If you felt like reading wasn’t necessarily your jam the last time you were in school, it’s okay! We’re here with tips, strategies, and tools for improving your reading comprehension, making you a faster reader who understands more of what you read.

How to Improve Your Reading

Improving adult reading comprehension isn’t hard if you take the right approach. Here are our favorite tools and strategies to become a better reader as an adult.

Read in Smaller Sections

One of the best tips for understanding more of what you read is to simplify long passages by breaking them down into smaller chunks. If you’re reading a long chapter or section, create your own breaks in the text. If you have 10 pages to read, start with two pages. Focus on understanding each section and don’t try to tackle everything at once.

Read for Pleasure

When you think of reading as an adult college student, you may start thinking of reading as hard work. You’ll naturally have improved reading comprehension when you’re reading something that truly interests you. For example, if you like spy novels, romances, magazines about your favorite hobby, or anything else, make time for pleasure reading. This is also one of the best strategies for reading faster as you’re eager to find out what’s coming next when the subject interests you.

Improve Your Vocabulary

A large part of improving your reading is to learn the meaning of more words. This is one of the best strategies for reading better. Whenever you come across a word whose meaning isn’t clear to you, take the time to look it up. You can make building your vocabulary more fun by getting games or apps made for this purpose. For example, WordUp Vocabulary teaches thousands of words in a fun and engaging way.

Listen and Read at the Same Time

Modern technology makes it easy to find audiobooks on apps such as Kindle, Google Books, and many others. While just listening to a book won’t help your reading skills, reading and listening together does help. Amazon offers many deals for buying a Kindle e-book and audiobook together. A free option is to use an app such as Overdrive, which offers both e-books and audiobooks. As you read, pay close attention to the way words are pronounced. Another approach is to listen to a book all the way through and then read it.

Design Your Own Mini-Course

Jumping from one topic to another can make it more difficult to improve your adult reading comprehension. Instead, stick to one topic, preferably one that interests you. It could be gardening, cooking, travel, history, pop culture, sports, or anything that many people write about. Start with something simple such as a short article or content on a website. A children’s book is fine as well. Then work your way up to more complex material on the same topic.

There are Many Ways to Improve Your Reading Comprehension as an Adult

The above are just a few tips for understanding more when you read. With practice, you’ll learn to read faster and remember more. Reading is an important skill when you return to school. SCI offers lots of useful advice for success with online learning. Don’t let uncertainty about your reading skills stop you from pursuing your goals!  If you haven’t enrolled because you’re worried about reading or another issue, take a look at SCI’s programs.

This article was published on: 03/1/21 12:01 PM

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