Improve Reading Skills

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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No student is too old to improve reading skills, whether in elementary, junior-high, or high school, university, or beyond. Individuals taking entrance exams, standardized tests, and such often try to improve reading skills at the last moment, as many of these exams feature reading comprehension sections. Nary a student has taken the SATs without brushing up on those dreaded "main idea" or "specific detail" questions in advance.

As it turns out, the skills needed to ace such tests are generally the same ones demonstrated by the strongest readers. Scanning for central ideas and textual evidence, identifying arguments, and reading for telling details are not just the hallmarks of good test-takers but literate individuals in general. Hence, if you invest in study aides that purport to strengthen your skills in these areas, rest assured that they'll pay dividends well beyond your law school or med school admittance.

Improve Reading Skills with Expert Help

More sophisticated readers looking to improve reading skills receive expert care and feeding from instructors who, quite often, help design the standardized tests themselves. The authors of textbooks and software for improved reading comprehension therefore know what testing services are searching for. Whether your quest is to ace the SATs, SAT IIs, or any other exam, you'll need to learn how to read selectively, moving quickly but with an eye out for the most salient passages.

Just why is reading comprehension universal to all these different standardized tests? The answer is that such reading passages test all your skills at once--vocabulary, analogies, reasoning, inference, and so forth. You may think you're having difficulty with a convoluted question when in reality the test-makers are really measuring your vocabulary. After all, if you knew every word throughout your test, how tough could the comprehension passages really be?

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