1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How to Read a Lot of Dry Text Quickly

Tips to Get Through Your Required Reading


University student studying on park bench ...
Livia Corona/Taxi/Getty Images
You may have to read dozens of textbooks and hundreds of case studies while enrolled in business school. To stand any chance of getting through all of your required reading, you will need to learn how to read a lot of dry text quickly and efficiently. The following tips may help:

Find a Good Place to Read
Although it is possible to read almost anywhere, environment can have a huge impact on how much text you cover and how much information you retain. The best reading places are well-lit, quiet, and offer a comfortable place to sit. The environment should also be free of distractions--human or otherwise. Get more tips on how to improve your reading environment.

Use the SQ3R Method of Reading
The Survey, Question, Read, Review and Recite (SQ3R) method of reading is one of the most commonly used approaches to reading. To use this method, all you have to do is follow these five simple steps:
  1. Survey - Scan the material before you actually begin reading. Pay special attention to titles, headings, bold or italicized words, chapter summaries, diagrams, and pictures with captions.
  2. Question - As you read, you should constantly ask yourself what the key take-away point is.
  3. Read - Read what you need to read, but focus on comprehending the material. Seek the facts and write information down as you learn.
  4. Review - Review what you have learned when you finish reading. Look at your notes, chapter summaries, or things you have written in the margin and then reflect on key concepts.
  5. Recite - Recite what you have learned aloud in your own words until you are confident that you understand the material and could explain it to someone else.
Read more about the SQ3R Method of Reading.

Learn to Speed Read
Speed reading is a great way to get through a lot of dry text quickly. However, it is important to remember that the goal of speed reading involves more than just reading fast--you need to be able to comprehend and retain what you are reading. You can study speed reading techniques online to learn exactly how it's done. There are also a number of speed reading books on the market that can teach you various methods.

Focus on Recall Not Reading

Sometimes, reading every assignment just isn't possible no matter how hard you try. Don't worry if you find yourself in this predicament. Reading every word isn't necessary. What's important is that you are able to recall the most important information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.