Reading comprehension is an important concept that a student must learn early on. Reading comprehension isn’t just taking what you’ve read on a page, but it is also understanding what you’ve read and being able to explain it properly. Reading comprehension is pretty similar to mathematics. Although you could potentially just write the same problems down that you see, you won’t really know how math works unless you do those problems to the human body.
Today, you can find a lot of studies on reading comprehension and how you can improve it. Below are some tips designed to help you with the concept, but you should check out the course The Extraordinary Reader – Speed Reading Made Easy. There’s also a great Udemy article that gives you a few basic hints on how to improve your reading comprehension skills.
The Definition of Reading Comprehension
It’s been touched on before, but if you don’t understand, reading comprehension is how well you are able to read text, process text, and understand what the text means.
In order to fully understand the works that you read you must be able to make inferences. Inferences are similar to guesses that you make about the work, based on the evidence presented to you about what you have read. An example of an inference would be you reading a story about a character who was crying after they lost their pet. Although the story never says it outright, you can probably guess that the character was sad because they lost their pet. This is an example of an inference.
Another thing a lot of people who have problems with reading comprehension seems to do is focus on one word. If you’re having trouble with a word, you shouldn’t let it interfere with your understanding of what you’ve read so far. Try to use context clues to help you come up with the definition of the word. It doesn’t have to be the exact definition, but it can be a helpful way to move beyond a difficult term or concept.
A technique used in reading comprehension, speed reading allows the reader to consume large portions of reading material in a much smaller amount of time. There are different types of methods to speed reading, which include things such as chunking, and getting read of sub vocalization. If you’ve ever wondered why you had friends or family members that could read several books in a week while you’re still struggling with completing one, then you may have been in the presence of a speed reader.
Being a speed reader isn’t a special skill that only a few people can learn. In fact, there are tons of courses and training programs to help make you become a speed reader. Take the time to try the Udemy course Become a SuperLearner: Learn Speed Reading and Advanced Memory that will teach you all there is to know about speed reading as well as increasing your memory to handle all of the information you are consuming.
If you already know how to speed read, you can improve on that skill even further. The Maximum Power Speed Reading course helps teach you how to increase your reading speed by 100%.
Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension
If you’re having trouble with 6th grade reading comprehension don’t worry about it; there are some things you can try to help you understand the concept better. Let’s look at a few top tips for improving reading comprehension at the 6th grade level.
- Get Rid of Distractions
Sometimes your problems may not be that you can’t understand the work, but that you’re too easily distracted instead. When you’re reading the material try to focus on it. Remove all distractions, such as turning off the TV and turning off your music. If you do need music to help you study, try listening to music quietly that fades into the background so you won’t stop focusing on your work.
- Keep Notes
Keep track of things as you write. Taking notes is a great way to help you with reading comprehension. Take notes whenever a new character is introduced or something amazing in the plot sticks out to you. You don’t have to rewrite the book, but instead just try to mention the things that were most important to you in the reading material and write about it until you feel you’re satisfied.
- Ask Questions
One of the most important aspects of reading comprehension is asking questions. Not just about the intention of the characters in the story, but in the intention of the author or the theme of the book. Try to ask questions about the author and explain what’s going on. Question why the characters did their actions and what motivated them to do so. When you go out of your way to try and understand the characters and what they do, then you’ve reached a very high level of reading comprehension.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be wrong either. For the most part these are just opinions, and as long as you can explain your answer well, you can’t be called wrong.
- Slowing Down when Reading
Although we did explore the concept of reading quickly, sometimes it is important to slow down as well. If you are having trouble reading and understanding a specific passage in a story, then stop and read it aloud. Repeat it a few times until you can say the words fluently. If there’s a word you haven’t seen before, either try to use context clues and figure out what it means or look up the definition. Remember that reading isn’t a contest, and what’s most important is what you take from what you read, not how fast you read the material.
Reading comprehension can be difficult for any student to master. The course Who Moved my Reading Standards explains a lot about the standards students are expected to meet as they read and how those standards have changed, so check it out.