Why is it that the SAT and ACTs feature boring content? Why is it that students can’t be tested on passages they would read with enthusiasm – passages about science fiction, fantasy worlds, sports, or other stimulating topics?
If you answered, “because students don’t require any skill to understand subjects that interest them,” then you’ve grasped the core of the reading comprehension conundrum.
There’s no denying that it takes more skill to fathom material you have no interest in, versus material you’re familiar with and fascinated by.
3 Ways Students Can Learn To Concentrate On Material That Doesn’t Necessarily Interest Them
The material students are required to read for their SAT and ACT exams may be boring. But sometimes, it is necessary for students to endure said passages to get to where they want to go.
So, how can students learn to focus on this material?1. Identify When Your Enthusiasm For The Material Drops Off
Prepare a variety of texts you’ve never read before. As you’re reading these passages, note when you begin to lose interest or focus. Do certain words trip you up? Are you having trouble understanding the context of the content? What is it about the piece that caused you to lose focus?
If you can identify what you’re having trouble with, you can begin to address the issue. You can have a dictionary at the ready if you don’t understand certain words. You can gain a better understanding of the context of the material by doing a bit of background research. There are always ways of overcoming comprehension challenges.2. Expand Your Vocabulary
Learning new words can be difficult, but it can also be a lot of fun. There are many great resources out there, beyond the standard dictionary. You could install a screensaver on your computer that flashes new words and their definition onscreen. You could explore the Word Power section on the Reader’s Digest website. There are so many interactive and entertaining ways to learn these days, and these methods should be taken advantage of.3. Read More
According to a study conducted by the Jenkins Group in 2003 (Mental Floss):
• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
• 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
It’s surprising how little reading is encouraged today. But books contain a lot of useful information and may even hold the keys to personal growth and career advancement. Plus, the simple act of reading helps with comprehension. As you read more articles and books, you become a better reader. Students should be encouraged to read more broadly, choosing to study topics that interest them in their spare time.
In summary, students should be encouraged to identify when they’re having trouble with a passage, expand their vocabulary, and read more. These simple steps can make a significant difference in test scores too.