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Many students start college using the same reading and study strategies they used in high school because those techniques worked well in high school; however, as you may have already figured out, college is different. Classes are structured differently and require more independent study, and your professors likely expect you to engage with readings at a deeper level than you may have practiced ina high school. These differences may require you to develop new reading and study habits.

This handout shares several simple yet effective strategies to use as you approach a reading assignment. Implementing this worksheet into your regular reading and study routine can help you to learn, understand, and retain course material.

Use the template below to pre-test before reading. Apply questions to key words and headings. How much do you know already? Be curious.

Dive in with purpose and read for answers to basic questions. Make assignments more interesting and memorable by spending a few minutes thinking first, then reading.

Use the template as a post-test after reading. How well do you remember main ideas and details without looking back?

Simple reading template

Learning Objectives Questions Asked Examples
Facts What is ________?
Who is ________?
When is ________?
Where is ________?
How is ________?
What is working memory?

What areas of the brain control working memory?

How is working memory studied?

Examples and Applications What is an example of ________?

What is a real-world application of ________?

When is ________ used?

When is working memory used?

What is an example of working memory?

Significance Why is ________ important?

Why did the author include ________ in the text?

Why is working memory important?

Could we function without working memory?

Relationships How does ________ relate to other topics that we’re studying?

How does ________ compare and contrast with ________?

How does working memory relate to short-term memory and long-term memory?

Connect to other resources

This template is one resource to help you develop more effective reading comprehension skills in college. There are several other resources and study strategies that you can check out to improve your studying. Here are a few:

Make an appointment with an academic coach at the Learning Center. Our coaches can talk to you about your study skills, help you make a study plan, or work with you on any other academic issue.

Attend office hours to talk to your professor about studying for that particular class.

Attend peer tutoring for courses with challenging material.

Check out our resources on effective reading strategies:

Check out our resources on effective study strategies:


Download PDF: Simple Reading Template

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 License.
You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Learning Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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