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Salemite, April 7,1978, Page 2
How Would You Rate
Your Study Habits?
If arm iceather, and sunny days
seem to have moved into the atmo
sphere at Salem lately, (hie problem
with the coming of Spring /* that
it is folUnced closely by final exams!
How many of us are finding an
abundance of self-discipline for
study on these beautiful days? I\ot
many, it seems.
4 glance over the study hints
below may be helpful. Most of us
could use an extra push to concen
trate on books instead of tans!
About 85 per cent of the work
you do as a college student
involves reading. It is the single
most important learning skill,
and yet many students are
bogged down in poor reading
habits that can make studying a
Reading is the visual ability to
understand words and their
relationship one to another. To
improve reading skills you must
increase your capacity to see and
grasp the grouping of words, or
ideas, at a speed that is
comfortable for you. The key is to
move your eyes at a rate that
allows your brain to absorb the
main ideas printed on a page.
Remember, your eyes, like
fingers for the piano or legs for
jogging, must be trained to be
skillful. If you would like to tune
up your reading skills, these
basic steps will help.
STEP 1- EVALUATE YOUR
Do you vocalize words in your
mind, or move your lips as you
read? You may be using the
childhood habit of sounding out
each word. This slows you down.
Do strange words constantly
stop your progress? Your
vocabulary needs improving.
Do you read every single word
separately? Train your eyes to
span phrases and to group
thought units together.
Do you have to back up and
reread very often? You are not
paying attention. Force yourself
Do you read everything at the
same speed? Your speed should
vary with the subject matter.
Are you reading faster now
than when you were in high
school? Skillful reading is an art
and needs continual practice.
STEP 2 - PROVIDE THE RIGHT
To read effectively, you need to
set the scene for concentration.
Pick a quiet place where you can
read with a minimum of
interruption. Have a pencil ready
for taking notes.
Most individuals find that 15
inches away from their eyes is a
comfortable distance to hold a
book. Make sure the lighting is
Radio, television, and music,
all pull your attention away from
the words and ideas you are
are the key to how well you read.
Eyes perceive words only when
they stop moving or make what is
called a “fixation”. During the
pause, the brain registers what
the eyes have seen. Depending on
your eye span, you will perceive
one, two or more words in each
fixation. The average college
student, for example, has a span
of 1.1 words and makes 4
fixations per second. By
increasing the number of words
your eyes include in each
fixation, you increase your
Train your eyes to take in more
than one word at a time. You can
make your eyes fix on related
words, phrases, or short lines in
one brief stop. This sentence, for
example, should be read in five
fixations: “The cost of oil - has
risen - because of - limited
natural resources - and increased
Vocalizing words, even in your
mind, slows down your eyes.
Don’t allow your eyes to wander
backward. Try not to reread
sentences. You will find that you
remember more if you can keep
moving forward. This does not
mean, of course, that you cannot
review what you have read.
STEP 4 - BROADEN YOUR
The person with a good grasp of
words is usually a good reader
and a good student. Your
vocabulary should continue to
grow throughout your lifetime.
Keep a dictionary hand,
whether you are reading for
pleasure or for work. Also use the
glossaries in your textbooks.
Make a list of new words. Jot
down unfamiliar words. Look
them up, and then make a point of
using them once or twice in
writing or in speech within the
next few days.
STEP 3 - USE YOUR EYES
The eyes see printed words and
transmit them to the brain. They
STEP 5 - ADAPT YOUR SPEED
TO THE MATERIAL
Don’t expect to read everything
at the same rate. A good reader
balances speed with
Adjust your pace to your
purpose. You can’t expect to whiz
through a biology chapter at the
same rate you could read a light
Scan the material first. Form
the habit of glancing quickly at
headlines, chapter headings and
subheads. Look for main ideas.
Then decide wdiich parts you can
skim and which will need more
When reading a text, first
survey the entire book. Look over
the table of contents, chapter
headings, and subheads. Get an
overview of the author’s
objectives by reading the
introduction or preface.
Studying requires close
reading because you will need to
remember both the main ideas
and supporting details. Underline
major points as you read. Make
margin notes of ideas that occur
to you. After you finish reading,
glance back over the entire
chapter to see if you grasped the
OFFICERS - (1-r) Rosemary Hege, president; Becky Badgett, vice president;
Martha Lynn Thomas, secretary; Pam Snyder, treasurer. > » ’
V Monarch Puhhchin/, ....
Editor-in-Chief • Amanda Vannoy
Castellanos del Valle
Copy Editor - Susan Miller * ®
Business Manager Cameron Harris
Production Staff - Pam Snyder
Circulation Manager - Debbie Hudson
Head Photographer Karen Smith
Photography Staff -