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Ideas of How to Best Utilize a Textbook

Studying for college is a difficult job. Many college classes are very large, and it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. It will not always be possible to get all of the individual attention that is wanted. Therefore, it is very important to always do the required reading in college textbooks.

Ideas of How to Best Utilize a Textbook

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Studying for college is a difficult job. Many college classes are very large, and it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. It will not always be possible to get all of the individual attention that is wanted. Therefore, it is very important to always do the required reading in college textbooks. Some students think that merely attending lecture is sufficient to earn good grades. For the very few incredibly brilliant, that may be the case. However, the vast majority of students will perform much better by utilizing the textbook. Students can buy or rent books. The following is a guide on how to best use college textbooks.

The first key is to read the text prior to the class in which it will be discussed. Every instructor hands out a syllabus at the beginning of the year that shows what sections of the book that will be discussed on what days. Always look at this schedule and note any changes that the instructor announces over the course of the semester.

The first step to reading the textbook is to skim over the chapter. Look over any questions that are listed at the beginning or the end of the chapter. Keep these questions in mind when reading the chapter. Try to answer the questions while reading the chapter.

After skimming the chapter, then read it in detail. While reading the assignment, take detailed notes. In addition to notes about information learned, jot down any questions on anything that is unclear after close reading. These questions can later be asked of instructors.

After reading the assignment, think about what seem to be the important points covered. Then look at the chapter summary and see how well it matches what seemed to be important. Look over the chapter questions again and see if everything was answered during the reading of the chapter. If not, then go back and try to find the answer. If the answer still cannot be found, then the instructor can be asked.

The day of lecture, go back and review the notes taken during the reading of the pertinent section. Keep these notes handy to reference during lecture. Make sure to ask any questions that were unclear upon reading the text during the class that covers the material. If it is a large lecture, then the questions can be asked during the professor’s office hours or a discussion section.

Do not read the textbook again prior to the exam. If detailed notes were taken while reading, then these will be much more efficient preparation for the exam.

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