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How to Improve Critical Reading Skills

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If you have a career where you need to use your mind or you are a college student, having proper critical reading skills will be essential. Many of us have been required to read during our educational career, though many adults have never mastered the skills needed to read critically. If you want to know, “Why is critical reading important?”, we have an article about is topic on our blog. To be a successful student, you will want to learn how to improve critical reading skills.

These skills will help readers comprehend and understand the content better. Skills allow the formation of judgments based on the facts that are presented instead of simply accepting what is written as truth. Not only will improving these skills help with studies and completing research papers, but developing the right skills can also improve critical reading score results when taking major exams, such as the SATs.

If you ever feel that you need assistance with your SAT prep, check our list of the best SAT prep courses available online.

Is Critical Reading Different From Other Forms of Reading?

There are different forms of reading and what is used will all depend on the circumstance. Students will want to develop skills for critical reading so they can look deeper into subjects and differentiate fact from fiction. When you improve critical reading skills, you can ask questions and make sure that information is presented logically.

Another form that is used by students is active. This involves an effort to understand text and you will actively think about what is being presented. This is best used when creating summaries or notes.

Non-critical readers simply do so for enjoyment and to accept everything an author presents. You will not question facts or try to ask questions. There is no need to determine if an argument is valid. This is most used by casual readers who are looking to enjoy novels or short stories as a form of entertainment.

What Are Critical Reading Skills?

Critical reading skills are required by any student and can be a great help as you pursue your higher education. As a student, you will be required to read content and determine whether the information included is based on facts and that arguments are properly supported. Not only will you have to read critically, but you will also have to think critically, especially when completing essays or research papers.

The skills needed include being able to process information, question arguments and evidence, and determine validity. When trying to improve critical reading skills, there are some areas that should be the main focus. These include:

  • Phonetics awareness
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

These skills are seldom mastered during high school but will be required at a college level. If you plan on attending college, it is best to start improving on these skills as soon as possible. This will help you perform better on exams and will prepare you for your college admittance.

Tips to Improve Critical Reading

Here are some great tips that can be used to improve skills. By taking time to practice and learn how to read better, you can develop required skills that will be used throughout college and even your career. Most of the major standardized tests that are now issued will have a section on this. Here, you can pick up a few tips on how you can improve skills and perform better on these exams.

  1. Read content more than once – It may be necessary to reread text for a complete understanding of what is being said. Avoid skimming content. Each time something is read, new information will be noticed and you will pick up on new facts that may have been overlooked.
  2. Take notes – Make notations and highlight important facts and arguments. By taking notes, you will pay attention to what is being said and will read slower.
  3. Have discussions – To increase your understanding of something that has been read, talking about it is a great way to comprehend the topic and arguments. As you collect more thoughts and opinions, you will have better comprehension.
  4. Write summaries – Take a minute after and create a summary. Include the goal of the text, main points, how it could be improved, whether resources are used, and if the content provides valid points.

Difference Between Critical Reading and Thinking

There are some differences between critical reading and thinking. The first refers to the skills needed for discovering ideas and concepts in a text. Critical thinking is used when evaluating ideas and determining what one should believe or accept. While these are two different things, they are often used together. Critical thinking will allow readers to understand what is being read. If readers believe that any assertions are not valid, they will examine the content to improve their understanding.

Critical thinking will depend largely on critical reading. You can think in a critical manner after you have understood what has been read. As you work to improve the critical reading, you will be able to ensure that the writer has addressed a specific topic, that terms are clearly defined, evidence is present, exceptions are explained, and conclusions follow the logic and relate to any evidence or arguments.

As you prepare for college and are taking exams, you need these skills for success. When you are applying to a school, your test scores will be considered. This is why it is important to master certain skills and perform well.

The college application process can be tricky at times. Some schools have set deadlines, while others use rolling admission. The difference between regular admission and rolling admission is that the latter has no time constraints. Your application is considered as it is received. For the best chances of getting in, make sure that you have improved skills and that you perform well on standardized tests. We offer more information on rolling admission in our blog.

Improving Critical Reading Scores

If you want to know how to improve critical reading score, here are some tips. Those who are planning on college will have SAT exams. Part of these exams includes critical reading. The best way to improve scores is to read as much as possible. It is beneficial to read something before sleeping. Research conducted at universities has shown that the brain continues to process information before it reaches the stage of REM sleep.

It can also be beneficial to learn how to personalize a story. If you have problems with comprehension and remembering details, relate to the story on a personal level. Try to recall times when you have felt like the main character or have taken similar actions in the story. By being able to relate, you can realize the facts of the story without reviewing the content.

Another great way to improve scores is by learning how to summarize. This will help you keep track of facts and recall them easier. The more you summarize, the more you will note fine details. If you are able to summarize what has been read to another person and that person understands the story, it shows you have skills that will be effective.

Books To Improve Skills

There are many books to improve critical reading, and many of these will also provide useful tips on applying for college after taking your exams. If you have scored well on this part of the SAT, you will have a better chance of being accepted into a university. If you need to meet a priority deadline at a school, be sure you have improved your skills so you get the best possible test score. You can then proceed with the application process. What is the priority deadline? It is the time in which you must complete an application for admittance. We have a detailed article about is topic on our blog.

With books that cover this topic, you can learn how to master skills and improve your ability to comprehend what is read. These books also include practice tests that will determine your weak points so you can focus on certain skills. Many published books that help with SAT prep will also cover how to improve critical reading as well as thinking skills. These can be beneficial for any student with plans to attend college.

FAQ

What are critical reading strategies?

Strategies are methods that are used to analyze and evaluate content. These strategies are required to make a decision on the information that is presented. Strategies are used to identify what is being read and determine validity.

How is critical reading developed?

This is developed by reading more and taking time to comprehend all aspects of what has been written. It includes specific skills that are used for analysis and evaluation.

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