Here are some quick tips to help you:
- Find a quiet, comfortable place to read.
- Read for a short, set period.
- About 30-40 minutes should be enough. Any more than that and you won't retain the information.
- Use the headings in textbooks as guidelines.
- Many textbooks use both headings and summaries. Use these to get an overview of the chapter as well as making sure you didn't miss anything important.
- Don't just use a highlighter.
- This is a form of passive reading, and doesn't help the information to sink in. Make proper notes and you'll find them both more helpful and more memorable. Try to put the notes in your own words, but do include key quotations!
- Use the glossary if one is provided.
- Or write your own - it will be helpful for tests.
- Read aloud
- Reading aloud brings the text to life, helps you feel the rhythm of the words, and may change your interpretation by showing you where emphasis may lie. Try it. (Subvocalize if you have a roommate!)
And lastly... bring the book to class! Your teacher may refer to specific passages, comment on the importance of a quote, or initiate a class discussion. It's helpful to have the text there in front of you to make accurate notes or as a reference.