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Time is precious to the Institute members and students, so it is very important that study time is spent as efficiently and profitably as possible. Here are a few ideas which may help you to gain maximum benefit from your textbook reading sessions.
There are a number of basic techniques that can be employed depending upon the purpose for reading. When you read, you are already using these different techniques but you may not be aware that you are doing so. This is because after many years of reading different types of material you take these techniques for granted, not thinking about them when you use them!
It is important, however, to be aware of the different reading techniques in order that you are able to use them more effectively and appropriately. Employing the following techniques will also ensure that you are reading actively rather than just passively. A passive reader will look at and recognise words on a page but will not engage with the material. Active reading, on the other hand, involves employing different reading techniques in order to glean the most relevant information and digesting this in a way that you will be able to understand it and recall it at a later date.
There are a number of reading techniques, although at any time you may be using any one of them - the main ones are as follows:
How to Improve Your Reading Speed
We all read at different rates and each type of reading will also determine the speed at which you proceed through the material. An exciting novel like Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" is, for example, a quicker read than the Financial Economics textbook!
Understanding is the most important aspect of reading, but you will invariably find it helpful if you can also improve the speed of your reading.
Learning to read more quickly, however, is not a solution to the problem of large amounts of reading. Aiming to read effectively, rather than more quickly is a better approach. Indeed, it is unrealistic to expect that reading can always be fast. The main thing is to move fast when you can and read intensively when you need to.
Remember, your goal is quicker understanding, not just quicker reading. Nevertheless, you may be practising 'bad' habits that are preventing you from reading efficiently and at a reasonable speed.
There is often a tendency to read different types of material at the same rate. When the material is 'easy' and is simply expressed, it is usually possible to read quite quickly. When it is less familiar, and using difficult 'jargon', then the reading rate slows down. It is important to realise that you can vary your reading speed to cope with the difference in material.
Reading aloud can often lead to reading at a slow rate – you will only ever be able to read as quickly as you talk if you mouth the words as you read (our brains can actually handle words much faster than we can speak them – try to read without saying the words).
The Chartered Banker programme provides broad, flexible skill sets and a wide range of ways to achieve the qualification.
Philip Grant, Managing Director, UK Private Banking at Lloyds Banking Group