10 Study Tips for Using Dreamreader

You may be just starting to use online resources like dreamreader.net to study for TOEFL or just to improve your overall reading comprehension.  If you’re unsure of where to start with your studies, here are a couple of things we recommend.

1.)  Before you read, try to think about what you know about the general topic area.  Try to think of some keywords that you already know in English that might appear.

2.)  Try to read the questions first before you start reading the article.  This will give you an idea of what you should be looking for in the text.

3.)  When you first start reading, don’t try to read everything.  Read the topic sentences (the first sentence) of each paragraph.  This will give you an overall idea of what the writer is trying to say.

4.)  As you read, highlight or mark any words that you don’t know and keep moving.  If you don’t understand something, come back to it later and try to work it out.  Sometimes you can understand a word just by looking at the context (the words surrounding it).

5.) After you are finished reading the article, start answering the easiest questions first.  If you aren’t certain about an answer, then just leave it for later and come back to it.

6.) Study the feedback.  Try to see where you made mistakes and why.  Look at the correct answer and think about why it is correct.  You might need to go back and read the article again.

7.)  Don’t be a dictionary addict!  Resist the temptation to use your dictionary as you are going through a reading.  There will always be time to study new vocabulary after you have answered the questions and completed the reading.

8.)  Review the reading.  Don’t just study a reading once, answer the questions, and then forget about it.  If you regularly return to a reading after you finish it, you’ll see how much you’ve progressed.  Certainly, some of the words you didn’t know the first time will be more familiar after a second or third reading.

9.)  Don’t translate in your head.  Try to “think” in English while you are working on a reading.  If you are constantly trying to translate what you are reading, you will run out of time.

10.)  Know your limits.  If you find yourself getting frustrated while you are reading a lesson, take a break.  You may need to try again later when you feel more relaxed.  Also, you might want to drop down a level and try some easier readings.  The key is to maintain your confidence and enthusiasm without getting discouraged.  Work at your own comfortable pace.

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