Why do you read? For fun, know-how, or grades? It is no news that one of the best ways to learn new things is through reading.
Reading is a fundamental skill that is essential for success in school, work, and life. It is an activity that allows us to access information, learn new things, and expand our horizons.
Depending on your goal, there are specific reasons for reading: for knowledge and grades. One may also add that you might read for entertainment but our focus is on the first two for this comparison.
Do you remember the materials and theories you read for your last college exam? Or you finished a renowned book but nothing invaluable sunk in. Maybe you remember a thing or two about what you read but not the entire concept attached to those papers. This approach to reading is short-lived, you only skim through the pages to get it over and done with, not necessarily seeking knowledge.
What does it mean to read for knowledge?
Reading for knowledge is genuinely wanting to learn and understand what you are reading. It is about immersing yourself in the material and letting it enrich your mind in line with what you think. You are not concerned with getting a good grade or impressing your teacher or anyone. You are simply motivated by a desire to learn.
When you read for knowledge, you are driven with questions and your personal opinions, bringing your personal experience into what you are reading and considering how they may apply to your life. What you read eventually becomes how you think or at the very least, pushes you to see things beyond your immediate environment.
What is Reading for Grades?
Reading for grades, on the other hand, entails doing whatever it takes to get a good grade. This style of reading is about memorising facts, skimming over text, and cramming for tests. When you read for grades, you are not necessarily interested in the material itself. You are simply interested in getting the work done as it allows you to move on to the next thing.
There are some drawbacks to reading for grades. First, it can lead to a superficial understanding of the material. You are focused on memorising facts and passing tests; you are less likely to take time to understand the concepts being discussed. When you read for grades, it can lead to stress and anxiety. It is consecutively difficult to relax and enjoy the process of reading when you are only worried about your grades. This can create a negative attitude towards reading.
Now each of these styles certainly has its appropriate time and place; no one approach is the best, you should be focused on the end goal.
Benefits of Reading for Knowledge
There are several benefits involved when you read for knowledge.
Firstly, it can help you to develop a deeper understanding of the world around you. When you read about different cultures, ideas, historical events, and scientific discoveries, it gives a broader perspective on life.
Secondly, when you read for knowledge, it helps improve critical thinking skills. As you read, you will be challenged to analyse information, form your own opinions and conclude.
Additionally, it can help you become a more well-rounded individual. Exposing yourself to a variety of ideas and perspectives can make you become more open-minded, tolerant, and understanding.
How to Read for Knowledge?
Here are some tips to read for knowledge:
• Choose books and articles that interest you.
• Read actively and critically.
• Take notes and ask questions.
• Discuss what you have read with others.
• Reflect on what you have learnt.
How to Read for Grades?
Here are some tips to read for grades:
• Read the assigned material carefully.
• Take notes and highlight important information.
• Create study guides
• Practice answering past exam questions.
• Get help from your teacher or a tutor if you need it.
We are in the pursuit of growth and growth involves evolution. You have to internalise what you read to derive the intellect and enlightenment required to expand your mental well-being. Ultimately, the best approach to reading is the one that works best for you. Take your time and experiment with different strategies to find what works best for your learning style and goals.
Researched by Olamide Opebiyi