How to Improve Your Reading Skills

How to Improve Your Reading Skills

If developing a reading culture is important to your success, then it is crucial for you to improve your reading skills.

In this post, you’ll learn exactly how you can do so.

Without further ado, let’s dive in…

Start at a comfortable reading level – a version of the “start where you are” advice from Arthur Ashe. When you start at a comfortable reading level, you can advance to more difficult reading materials from there. If you attempt to read material that is too challenging initially you are more likely to become discouraged. While challenging yourself to read at a more advanced level is a wonderful goal, studies have shown that if you allow yourself to become discouraged while reading you will be less likely to achieve that goal in the long run.

  • Skim the first few pages. If you have trouble understanding what the author is trying to say, you may not enjoy the book.
  • If you have chosen a book with a very narrow focus, like a scientific work or a specific historical treatise, you might want to instead familiarize yourself with books on more general topics first.
  • Use the five finger rule. Pick a book, and read the first two or three pages. Put one finger up for every word you can’t pronounce or don’t know the meaning of. If you’ve put up 5 or more fingers, the book is probably too hard. Educators have been using this method for years, and it can be applied for children as well as adults.

Expand your vocabulary. Building a greater vocabulary will make reading easier and more fun in the future. The more words you are exposed to, the more your vocabulary will grow.

  • If you don’t understand a word, first try to use context clues to figure out what it means. Frequently, the rest of the words in a sentence will offer hints about what a particular word means.
  • Look up words in the dictionary that you do not recognize or understand. Write down these words to review later to solidify them in your memory and make them a part of your vocabulary. Keep a collection of these words for your own reference.
  • Use new words you learn in your everyday speech. Putting words into action in your everyday life will ensure that you remember them.

Practice, practice, practice. Studies have shown that people who spend more time reading and take in a greater volume of reading material, develop a more extensive vocabulary and greater reading comprehension. This improves their ability to take in knowledge more generally.

  • As with anything else, developing reading skills takes work. Set aside time to read every day. Literacy experts disagree about exactly how much time you should devote to reading, given that it varies according to age, skill level, and ability. A good rule to remember, however, is consistency. Try to read every day. If you need to take frequent breaks while reading, go ahead. Even while practising, reading should be an enjoyable experience.
  • Take a book with you on a morning bus or train commute, or read on your lunch break. Having access to reading materials during moments of downtime makes it more likely that you will read regularly.
  • Read the words out loud. Reading out loud, alone or to someone, can improve how you read and spell. However, don’t force a nervous reader to read aloud, especially in a group setting. Fear of shame and humiliation can make some unsure readers dread the experience.
  • Visualize the story, pay attention to the introduction of characters and places. Try to see each in your mind. “Seeing” the story will make it more real to you and easier to remember.


I hope you learnt a thing or two and that you’ll try out some of the above.

We’d appreciate it if you could give us feedback either here or on our social media platforms. Let us know what you try or what works for you.

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