Reading is one of the most important skills that you need to develop as a human being. If you watch or listen to biographies of any successful person or an interview of a renowned leader or a CEO all of them would suggest one trait, that is, to read. They all tend to read books and surprisingly it is never limited to one genre, it can fiction, romance, thriller, mystery, horror, or any other genre that comes to our mind. Hence, reading is not just related to recreation or relaxation.
As an aspiring CLAT student, you would know how much reading you have to do in the revised pattern since every question present in the CLAT question paper will be comprehension-based. So, if you are one of those students who find reading too tedious and boring, then do not worry. This article by CLAT Gurukul would talk about the problems faced by students while reading, the secrets of reading, and how to utilize the power of reading skills to unlock your innate capabilities.
But before we talk about the problems and secrets behind this skill, let us talk about why many students form this habit. Most students tend to develop the habit of reading from a young age and they choose to be regular with this habit, and this habit is not formed out of fear of examination or to read only for fun, or maybe you were too shy to make friends as a young kid. This habit is formed as an inspiration and we tend to pick it from people around us.
There are numerous problems faced by the students since it is not possible to talk about every single one of those problems. We have decided to deduce those countless problems into the major ones that face every 3 out of 5 students. The problems are as follows:
1. Unable To Focus: While reading many candidates tend to find it difficult to focus when they are reading. These students tend to have short concentration duration, and as they continue to read they tend to get distracted and find it difficult to continue. Those distractions would make it harder for them to read and lose out all their attention as well as forget any important information they have found in the book or the passage they are reading during an examination.Lack of focus is serious in students as well as in adults too, this is one of the major reasons why many people tend to find it difficult to read and they utilise their time and energy on something which is important and necessary to them. Sometimes people skip reading because their vocabulary is not very rich, and they find it difficult to comprehend the text.
2. Forget About The Content of The Past Materials They Read: A majority of the students tend to go blank about the topics they have read in the past. Even though it is impossible to complete the CLAT syllabus in a day or two, in spite of continuously going through every topic of different subjects for CLAT. Reading requires quiet time and a lot of concentration. The real reason that a number of students forget about the contents or partially remember it is because they might find it tedious. Our mind tends to forget things which are not close to us or if our brain feels that it can not relate to the content. Moreover, the students aimlessly move on to the next topic without making a short summary in their mind and as a result, they fail to remember the previous topics, and it goes on till the CLAT examination. Another reason they forget about the topics is the candidate does not discuss the topics with their friends, as some discussions would help both of them to brainstorm the topic and remember it.
3. Reading Boredom: The real reason why many students tend to find reading boring is that they are not used to this skill, and as a result, they tend to find reading very tedious and uninteresting and decide to give up on this habit the very same day. The real reason why these students gave up on this habit is not that it is difficult to master the skill. The real reason is that when they fail to create a meaningful connection with the book, they would find the book to be dull, and vice versa.
1. While Reading Use A Pencil Or A Pen: This is a simple yet powerful suggestion for a beginner, because many people who have recently started picking up reading as a habit, tend to find it difficult to keep track of which line they are reading. Having a pen or a pencil while reading would significantly help the person or candidate to read effortlessly and this method would help them to keep track of the reading and they would not lose any time and concentration because majorly students get distracted because of lack of concentration would lead to switching lines or skipping a couple of lines which can be catastrophic in an examination such as CLAT.
2. Have a Dictionary When Reading: Many students hate reading because their vocabulary is not very rich and it hinders their understanding because it is difficult to understand a sentence when you can not understand or figure out a possible meaning for the word; getting a wrong idea from the context would be problematic in CLAT examination because there would be negative marking or unattended answers. Having a dictionary around would be helpful as you can look up the meaning of the word and add it to your vocabulary.
2. Read Aloud: Almost every one of us has heard this from our parents as they always told us to read out aloud as it helps us to learn the contents of the notes quicker. Well, it is not totally true, because it helps us to concentrate and reading out aloud helps us to understand the context better, and constantly stay focused.
3. Make A Mind Movie: Another great tip would be to create a mind film by making characters and like a movie play it in your mind to perfectly understand the contents. Creating a mind film would allow you to rethink the topics you read earlier, and after you finish a new topic you can add it to the existing film and increase its length. Thus, remembering every small detail about each and every topic.
4. Pen Down A Synopsis: This is another solution to remember your previous topics, that is to pen down a short summary of 100 to 150 words. The best way to practice this tip would be to write down a summary of 100 to 150 words after you have completed the topic, and the next day before you are going to begin a new topic. Writing summaries would lead to two benefits, that is, it would give you a better understanding of the topic, and during the time of examination, it would serve as a quicker way of remembering the topic.
5. Discuss With Friends: Be it an academic book or an entertaining novel, make sure to have some friends who would love to discuss either of them. Having friends who are doing the same thing as you would help you to understand different aspects of the topics, also it would help you to set achievable targets so that your morale would boost.
6. Highlight Crucial Information: While reading your class notes it is important to have a highlighter with you so that you can underline any information, or keywords present in the topic that you believe is important. Think of highlighting as a marker where you are creating flags so that your eyes would show extra attention and remember the details more clearly.
7. Choose The Perfect Books For You: The most important reason why scientists believe that we get bored is for not doing what we enjoy and the same goes for reading as well. See, as a new reader, you would find a lot of genres to be boring and unappealing to avoid such problems, choose books that suit your preference and interest. Reading what you like would have a lesser chance of you getting bored of it and you would stay more focused on the book that you are reading.
8. Set Reading Targets: Having a plan is always better than moving aimlessly because a strategy would be the best way to learn and improve a skill, and this goes for reading as well. Earlier we stated how having friends would help you in setting targets, and it is important that you set the targets in such a manner that you would complete them without the feeling of rushing. Do not go on making unachievable plans of finishing a 400 pages long novel in an hour or two, try to read in portions, because it assists you to stay focused, you would be interested in the book, and you will remember what you have read so far.
9. Practice: In spite of choosing your preferred genre of the novel it is important that you practise and stay consistent with the habit of reading, as choosing a book you are interested in would not make you a proficient reader. Make time to read every day for an hour, and in no time you would be a proficient reader.
10. Add Variety: As a new reader start by choosing your preferred genre of books, but as you progress try to check out different genres, be open to change and shake up your interests. Try to go out of your comfort zone and learn new things which can be interesting.
It has been rightly said by Joseph Addison "Reading is to the mind what exercise to the body." It is correctly said and with the help of the tips and remedies mentioned above, you can be a prolific reader and make the most of your life, as you will be inheriting the knowledge of some of the best minds in the world. As you continue to read, you would grow mentally, and emotionally leading to take better decisions. As a fellow reader, I too found reading as boring but as you continue to read you would find these pages to be more interesting and more meaningful as they take you on a journey where you tend to live with a thousand characters, travel to mythical lands, and have a look into the writer's mind through his/ her works.
Originally published January 15, 2023