Having great comprehension skills depends mostly on your ability to understand certain words and phrases and remember their usefulness in the reading material that you’ve just read. Improving your comprehension skills is, however, not that difficult. Here are a few strategies that can help you improve your comprehension skills without much hassle.
First, comprehension consists of three parts: reading, understanding, and writing. Reading is the easiest part because most of the work is done for you. All that you have to do is vocalize (or internally vocalize, in other words, read silently) whatever is in front of you. Some people, however, have problems in this part of comprehension. Illiteracy is more rampant than you think. But, you can’t improve your literacy if you aren’t applying it on a daily basis. With that said, try to read as much as you can, because it gives you plenty of practice.
Next, understanding is key to comprehension. It is, perhaps, the most tested out of the three parts to literacy/comprehension. Understanding what a passage says, or what a book is about, or applying key concepts these are all part of understanding, and are key to great comprehension skills. And, like reading, the more you do it, the better you will get. So, Start by reading works in this way: after you have read a chapter, an article, or the whole novel, ask yourself, “What was this about? What key concepts does the author expect me to take away? What do I learn from reading this?” In other words, questions starting with “What” are the most important in understanding written work.
Finally, writing can also be an integral part of comprehension. This is why the “essay” was invented; essays explore and explain concepts in the writer’s own words. It truly shows the reader’s understanding of a given material. So, when you groan at the thought of writing an essay, you should know that it is vital in knowing that you have understood the material. Before you write an essay, of course, you must have already read and understood the material. Essays are the more refined, academic version of your understanding.
So, if you want to improve your comprehension skills, remember to work on your reading, understanding of the text, and writing. And as you work on these, remember too that with time, patience, and practice, all of these will improve. With these in mind, you’ll have stellar comprehension skills in no time.