Reading textbooks efficiently during your 1st year (and beyond!)

During your first year at university you’re probably wondering: How am I going to get all this reading done and still eat and sleep?

Managing to read textbooks efficiently means targeted reading with a strategic plan of how manageable chunks of information are clearly understood . This system may prevent us from being overwhelmed by the task of large amounts of reading. Better organisation means that reading can harvest much more information rather than ploughing through a pile of textbooks with no plan other than to reach the end.

Some use of an ‘aspirations board’, which is a collection of images or other reminders of what that person would like to achieve in their life, acting as a visual reminder of what they are striving for and helps them to focus on their end goal and relieves the boredom factor. You might consider:

  • adding colour or images
  • changing the font
  • using a different pen
  • going to a different location to study
  • standing up if you usually sit down or moving around
  • undertaking some sort of physical activity
  • making it more challenging by setting yourself a time limit to see how much you can get done within a given time frame
  • allowing yourself to explore a particular area in more detail
  • watching a YouTube clip that illustrates the subject matter
  • thinking of ways in which a particular process could be streamlined
  • drawing or doodling a picture that visually summarises what you have read