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molliegym Offline
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Help with reading... - January 30th 2009, 11:12 PM

Okay, so basically, English has, for the past few years, been really, really hard for me. Specifically, things like reading quizzes and tests.

It's not that I don't know how to read, or that I don't like to read. I do like to read.

I have a good vocabulary- I read a lot outside of school, not just books, but I'm always reading online, and I read the newspaper sometimes. I

I'm a writer, too- I write mostly fiction. What I write is drastically, completely different from the stuff I read in English, but I feel like I should at least be able to remember these things.

I always do the reading. I always highlight/underline when I read.


It's just that I can't remember the details, and this means that I have an incredibly tough time on reading quizzes. Before the quizzes, I ALWAYS go back and review what I've read (I don't usually have time to re-read completely, but even if I did, I don't know if that would help). I don't usually have trouble with things like the overall, general things. But no matter how aware I am when I'm reading the book, I just can't seem to remember details like- "What is the name of [insert description of character who was just introduced, and perhaps only for a page or two]?" or "What

In 10th grade, we had a test on "The Great Gatsby". Most of the questions were random details, some of them significant, some of them insignificant. I had read the book. I scored a 44% on the test. I talked to the teacher after I saw my grade, and she refused to believe that I had read the book. I felt like an idiot, because I had read the book. I just couldn't remember the details.

In 11th grade, we had reading quizzes quite frequently starting in the winter trimester. I failed almost all of them, and for the first time in my life, had a C+ on my report card.

This year, in 12th grade, again, we've started to have reading quizzes pretty frequently. And it sucks. I do all of the reading. Every single time! When we have class discussions on a book, I always participate and contribute meaningfully to the discussion (my teacher has said this too!). But then we get a reading quiz, and I'm screwed. The first reading quiz this trimester, I got a 43%. The second one we didn't get back yet, but I can't imagine I scored much higher. We had one today, and I only knew the answer to 1 out of 3 questions, and I'm not even sure that my answer was right.

It's not that I'm an idiot, because I'm not. I'm really smart and have always done well in math and science. And I'm not an idiot in English (I scored a 33 and 35, out of 36, on the English and Reading sections of the ACT). It's just that when I'm drilled on the details of the book, I totally blank out and can't remember for the life of me anything.

Is there something wrong with me? I feel like I shouldn't have so much trouble with this. When I sit down to take a reading quiz, and I can't remember the details to something I read only the day before, and reviewed right before, and yet I can barely remember ANY of the details, I feel so, so incredibly stupid. What should I do? I really, really want to get better at this kind of thing (remembering details when I read!), but I just don't know how.
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Re: Help with reading... - January 30th 2009, 11:15 PM

Have you considered reading the book more slowly or looking at practice questions to help you pick out details?

I don't think there is anything wrong perhaps a poor memory in that department. It is reading quizzes themselves to blame since I've no idea what they test except for memory
   
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Re: Help with reading... - January 30th 2009, 11:17 PM

I think it's just one of those things where everyone's mind is different,
you're a genius at every aspect of life but maybe a little less at remembering the small details of a book,
one thing that i find helps is reading the book then reading over online spark notes to repeat what the main details are of the section you just read,
it's not cheating at all, it's just reviewing with an abridged version


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"Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it."
-Groucho Marx

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Re: Help with reading... - January 30th 2009, 11:19 PM

As stupid as it may seem, try reading out loud to yourself.That's how I taught myself to remember small details, among other things.


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Re: Help with reading... - January 31st 2009, 12:31 AM

I suggest checking out the book "How to Read Literature Like a Professor" by Thomas Foster (I think.) Google it. You can probably ask your parents to order it pretty cheap for you online. It's probably pretty cheap anyway.

It basically gives you tips and tricks to reading between the lines and understanding a text the first go-around.
I'm an English major and even I learned loads from it.



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Re: Help with reading... - January 31st 2009, 09:46 AM

Thanks to everyone for the replies. All of you have had good suggestions, so I'll definitely make sure to try them.
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