Books, Culture and Society

Helpful Guidelines When Using a Textbook

No matter what courses a student is taking, the textbook can be the most important factor in securing a good grade. But if a student does not know how to study the textbooks, he or she can waste a lot of time without learning the knowledge that will be needed to pass the midterms and finals.

Helpful Guidelines When Using a Textbook

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No matter what courses a student is taking, the textbook can be the most important factor in securing a good grade. But if a student does not know how to study the textbooks, he or she can waste a lot of time without learning the knowledge that will be needed to pass the midterms and finals. Follow these steps to study the textbook correctly. The most important thing is for the student to have access to their own copy to use, whether they buy or rent textbooks. Sharing does not work.

Students should start by glancing over the chapter. They should not start from the first sentence as if reading a novel. The student should look at the title of the chapter and flip through to see all of the section headings. They should stop and look at pictures and diagrams. If there is an introduction at the beginning or a summary at the end, students should read those first. This way a student knows what to expect when reading the textbooks.

Skim the material that is already known. If a professor has already gone over the subject in class, students might feel like they can skip the chapter, but instead of doing that, skim over the material. It will help students remember it later on and it does not take as long as reading every single word.

Have a question in mind as while reading. No one will get the most out of textbooks if they take a passive approach. If students know what the chapter is about from following the first step, they know what knowledge they should be getting by reading a chapter. If it is a history book and discussing events leading up to a war, students should ask as they read what caused the war to happen. This technique works for any type of course, whether it is science, business, or liberal arts.

Students should write notes when they are done. After finishing a chapter, students might be tempted to close the textbooks and forget about everything until the next class. But they should take the time to write some notes after they have finished reading. This will help them to retain the knowledge and supply them with a convenient study guide that they will be grateful for in a couple of weeks. They should write down the questions and answers they had from the previous step. They can pretend that they will be taking an open note test on the subject. This will help them focus on what is truly important.

Students who study their textbooks in this way throughout the semester will have to cram less during midterms and finals. Reading in this manner doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can help in both understanding the subject and improving their grades.

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