White person’s hands holding book and tracing finger across line while reading

3 Tips to Improve Your Reading Retention for School

Retaining what you read is important for homework and studying in both high school and college. Here are three tips to improve your memory while studying!

As students, we’re often expected to remember large amounts of information over time for homework and tests in school. This can be overwhelming, especially when you need to retain information in preparation for a big exam that could be worth a large amount of your grade. Luckily, there are certain things you can do that can make this process smoother and help you retain more information. Here are three tips to improve your reading retention and study skills.

1. Space out your studying

There may be limited time before a big exam, but many students often wait until the last minute and are left wondering if they can tackle all the material in a day. Trying to cram chapters of material is not a recipe for success. Instead, plan out what your study schedule will look like for at least a week before the exam. You should also take into consideration the amount of time you have before an upcoming assignment and plan out your reading and assignment completion time accordingly. This can assist you tremendously as you complete smaller chunks of the material per day. Not only will this lift the load off your back, but it’ll help you get a good grasp of the material because you won’t be trying to learn too much at once. The more time you space out in studying a few chapters at a time, the more you’ll be able to remember and more clearly understand each specific portion of the material. 

Related: How to Get Organized and Manage Time in High School

2. Remember the main ideas and concepts

When reading, it can be difficult to remember every detail mentioned. A helpful strategy is to highlight or mark down the most important points from the material. By doing this, you’ll draw out key concepts you need to know. After doing so, you can go back and find supporting information that will help you further expand on those points. Try starting this process by making a bulleted list of the most important things as you progress through your studying or assignment. Don’t limit yourself to this single method, however; you can also write paragraphs summarizing information, create charts that include similarities and differences, and more depending on what you’re comfortable with and what helps you remember information better. When you’re studying, be sure to review the points you made note of, and reread the more specific information detailing it if you need a refresher.  

3. Quiz yourself

I find this tip to be the most helpful. After reading through the material and taking notes on important points, it’s essential to really ensure you remember what you’ve learned. Use different methods to test your knowledge, such as making flashcards, which help best with consistent repetition. You can also create your own quizzes covering the material, but be sure you’re being fair to yourself by making it like one you’d see in an academic setting. I find it beneficial to look up quizzes others have created over the material—websites like Quizlet are great for this. By completing those, you won’t know the exact answers ahead of time, and you can see whether you need more honest practice in a certain area. If you find it useful, you can also practice “teaching” the material. It may be to your advantage to do this in front of an audience like a friend or family member; that way you’ll be held accountable for what you teach and whether you know the material.

Related: 5 Simple Ways You Can Make Studying More Fun

The process of studying and retaining information can seem daunting, but following these tips can help take some of the stress away. Be sure to set yourself up for success when testing your understanding of the material by exercising your memory. The more you practice repeating the material, the more successful you’ll be!

For all the help you could possibly need on your assignments, check out Our Best Advice for Homework, Studying, and Tests.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
college academics high school academics homework reading study skills study smarter study tips studying

About Lianna Jacob

Lianna Jacob is an undergraduate students who has gone through the college admission process and wants to share her experience with others! She enjoys learning more about her Christian faith and spending time with family and friends.

 

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Rhiannon Teeter

Rhiannon Teeter

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2012

I have spent a lot of time aggressively searching for scholarships. It was a long and frustrating process until I found the CollegeXpress network. This site made my search so much easier. With the simple check of a few boxes, the site sorted out scholarships I was eligible for and led me directly to the correct websites. Winning this scholarship has definitely given me and my family some financial relief, and CollegeXpress has allowed me to improve my chances of winning further financial aid. Thank you so much!

Jada Bohanon

Jada Bohanon

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me find scholarships for the colleges I applied to. It was very hard for me to find scholarships in the beginning that I was qualified for. My teachers recommended this website to find some, and not only did I find some scholarships but I also got to look into some schools I hadn’t heard of before. I was very happy to have discovered this website, especially with the coronavirus spreading all over as I can’t really go visit many colleges.

Nikole Dixon

Nikole Dixon

$500 Refer-A-Friend Scholarship Winner

Towards the beginning of last year, I was searching for scholarships to apply to through my school, town, websites online, and anything else I could find. I asked tons of questions [online] about scholarships and the best places to find them because I was desperate and I needed as many as I could find. I came across a ton of bogus websites but as soon as I found CollegeXpress, I knew I had to tell other people about it. It was definitely the most helpful site I came across, so I told my friends about it. . . . CollegeXpress is definitely a website worth giving as a source.

Chris Bell

Chris Bell

Bell College Consulting

The college lists on CollegeXpress are indispensable for sussing out creative additions to a student’s list, and the college-specific pages provide terrific commentary and suggestions for related schools. CollegeXpress is among the most trusted sources I use for information for my students.

Alexandra Adriano

Alexandra Adriano

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2016

I've used CollegeXpress quite a bit as a senior, particularly for colleges and scholarships, so it's been a very big asset in that respect! I would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a college education, especially seniors! This scholarship will help me achieve my goals in ways I couldn't have before, and I know that there are opportunities like that for everyone on the website and in the magazines!

College Matches