Ever start a reading comprehension passage on a standardized test and recognize halfway through the first column that you have absolutely no idea what the passage is about? Ever sit down to read a book or magazine and suddenly realize that while your eyes are running down the tracks of words and lines, your mind is on a completely different train? Yeah, um, you’re not alone.
Paying attention to what we’re reading is THE KEY both to reading comprehension in general and to answering questions about test passages correctly. Alas, neither gently urging, nor cajoling, nor silently shouting at yourself to pay attention works. Many students feel, as I once did, that having an active mind–one that refuses to pay attention, perhaps especially and precisely at those moments when we really want it to–means a lifetime of slow, inattentive reading and embarrassingly poor results on reading comprehension tests.
But wait, there really is some good news for such readers! Mindfulness, a combination of mental and emotional techniques that helps focus our minds by bringing them in tune with our bodies and intentions, has been very effectively used by medical professionals to treat stress and manage pain. Well, the very same simple-to-learn techniques can just as effectively treat the wandering mind and harness its immense power to read with much greater attention and comprehension. They can also be used to help treat nervousness and anxiety during high-stakes exams.
Coupled with a strategy of ACTIVE READING–that is, underlining and marking a text as you read it–a mindful approach to your reading will give you much more enjoyable and fulfilling experiences. Oh yeah, and much higher scores on reading comprehension exams!
Wanna learn how, specifically, to apply mindful reading practices and test-anxiety reduction to YOUR life? Watch our video and then register for one or more of our new four-session classes, offered both in-person and live online, and begin practicing a mindfulness-based approach to better reading, attention, and scoring starting in September! Or contact CollegePrepExpress (info@CollegePrepExpress.com) to set up a one-on-one tutoring session, or enroll in one of our test prep classes where we take time to teach some of the most relevant strategies.