Why Strong Reading Skills Equals Success in College

January 10, 2012 Category: College Tips

There are numerous factors that tend to influence how well a student could do in college. While there are many different ways students can prepare themselves while in high school, one of the top priorities should include maintaining a strong level of reading skills and comprehension. In fact, many studies have been done between the correlation of possessing strong reading skills and a student’s success in college. Below are some notable reasons as to why all college students, as well as high schoolers getting ready to graduate, need to stay on top of this essential skill.

The Whys

Having strong reading skills early on better equips students to handle advanced coursework once they get into a college or university. Studies show the younger students are when they begin actively reading, the more likely they are to expand their knowledge of vocabulary words, resulting in an easier time comprehending subjects taught at the college level.

Speaking of reading comprehension, being a strong reader doesn’t just involve knowing how to read but developing an understanding of what a student has read. College courses are known for their lecture-oriented curriculum, where the professor goes into depth on certain subjects and concepts. In order for students to properly follow along and participate, this requires them to have done the reading, as well as know how to effectively communicate their thoughts on the subject. In college, reading is all about comprehension and oral communication about the material.

Students that are proficient in reading are more successful at keeping up with the workload in their classes, tend to avoid late-night study sessions and are able to complete their assignments in a timely manner. Additionally, strong reading skills typically also means an easier time writing term papers that demonstrate their knowledge of a particular topic.

The Hows

So how can students position themselves in the best way possible to strengthen their reading and comprehension skills? The most effective way is to begin early. In fact, educators strongly advocate that parents get their kids interested in reading as soon as they are of school age. Don’t be afraid to introduce young children to books that are a bit more challenging to read (but still age appropriate, of course).

The more familiar kids are with going to the library and checking out books that they want to read, the more comfortable they’ll be as they get older and begin tackling more advanced textbooks in school. When parents encourage and participate in their child’s reading activities, this fosters a positive association with this activity.

Students have the ability to boost their reading skills by seeking help if needed from tutors or a teacher. Students should make sure they understand the material they’ve just read, which can be tested by discussing the subject with another classmate or with their parents. Engaging in conversation about what’s been read is great for aiding in reading comprehension. It’s equally important to look up the definition of words you don’t understand. Dictionaries and thesauruses are a student’s best friend when it comes to reading challenging material.

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