This question is one that I’ve had plenty of personal debate about.
I virtually never do my reading assignments for class. I get good grades anyway. What are your thoughts on reading assignments? To me, they just take up so much time they’re hardly ever worth the trouble. I might end up doing the reading assignments but it’s usually whenever I feel like it instead of whenever it’s assigned.
Well… If it’s working alright for you then I certainly wouldn’t argue that you should change it.
Reading assignments are a complicated subject that deserve a little more time than a simple Q and A but I have some distinct feelings about them. This is more of a quick overview than an all out answer.
First of all, as a disclaimer, I love reading. I look for excuses to read. I enjoy it. That being said, I still virtually never did my reading assignments. I’d often go through whole books relying on the information I heard in the class about the book. I would occasionally pick the books up for the first chapter but I almost never read my assigned material in high school. In college, I limited my reading but I ended up doing a tad bit more.
Despite my love for reading, I hate reading assignments for class. It’s like getting a job eating birthday cake. Sure, it’s fun for the first 15 minutes but then you just get sick to your stomach and never want to eat birthday cake again.
The strange truth for most classes is that the reading assignments are optional when you’re a little creative. If you’re willing to actually look up summaries of the book you’re supposed to read then it’s virtually always “optional.” There are exceptions.
When it comes to reading assignments for literature then you can usually get away without reading them. If you read like the student reading a homework assignment then reading is virtually useless anyway. Most students end up “reading” while daydreaming through the books pages. That doesn’t give them all much information to work with anyway. A person with a general idea what happened will match the knowledge of 80% of the students that actually read the story.
In an ideal world, I’d recommend focusing and reading through your reading assignments for literature. As I’d recommend doing all your homework. For more info on homework read Skip Your Homework (Sometimes). Sure, I skipped reading assignments and didn’t do too bad for it in high school but in college when I picked up some actual reading of my assignments, at the very least, I felt more confident doing the work. When you don’t do the reading it’s kind of like tightrope walking. You may have a general idea but you can’t get too aggressive with your statements or you risk giving away your ignorance.
When it comes to textbook reading assignments, you can virtually always skip a full out reading. Textbooks have their value in fact collecting but they’re not all that useful for deep reading. It’s too easy to lose focus and forget everything that your eyes glazed over while you were supposedly reading your assigned pages.
Naturally, I’m not going to say to never read your reading assignments. It often comes down to some very individual questions. Some people can “bs” their way through virtually anything. If you don’t need to read the reading assignments to get a good grade then those reading assignments could be a serious waste of time. Some people aren’t so good at faking it with limited information.
I might even make a case for skimming all reading assignments. I’d usually recommend playing it however you feel comfortable.
Yes… A study blog that isn’t encouraging you to do all your assigned work… Good luck getting advice like this from your teachers.
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Aaron Richardson took his grades from fighting F’s to Easy A’s. In the process, he read over 300 books on personal development. Today he’s founded 2 blogs on studying including Smart Student Secrets. He’s written 3 books on the subject. His work has been featured on some of the biggest news, psychology, and student sites on the internet.
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