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Deciphering College Texts

College readings can be much more dense than high school texts. With regular reading for multiple classes, it can be difficult to get through everything, hang on to important concepts, and organize information for later review.

Some students underline in different colors. Some make notes in the margins. Some highlight key concepts. Some can skim large amounts of text, picking out the most important information. Whatever has worked for you in the past, it may be necessary to adapt your techniques to new subjects, quantities of required reading and time constraints. You may also want to adjust your strategies for higher pressure times, such as during midterms and final exam periods. It can be most helpful to go over what works and what is challenging with an advisor.
          Reading Effectively (brief summary)

For students who learn best by seeing the big picture, mindmapping can be an effective strategy both for translating information from linear to spacial form (e.g. diagramming a multi-stage chemical reaction) and vice versa (e.g. outlining an essay with multiple sources). A technique for visualizing complex concepts, mindmapping consists of literally mapping out multiple ideas and representing their connections in the form of a picture.