Soar with reading

Good reading skills can help you in all your classes. If your reading skills are lacking in some way, you could find yourself in trouble very quickly. Generally, the better you understand what you read and retain what you read, the better you will do in your classes.

One way to improve your reading comprehension is called SOAR (Survey, Organise, Anticipate, Recite, Review). There are five steps to this method.


Briefly look over the material to become familiar with it. Get a feel for the main topics. One good way to survey a book is to read all chapter titles and summaries.


From headings and subheadings in the reading material, make up (and write down) questions

to yourself about the subject. Later, when you read the material, see if you can answer your questions. You can also ask yourself questions about the content, such as the writer’s goals, how the material is related to what you already know, and what experiences you may have had that relate to the material. These kinds of questions can help make the subject mean more to you.


Now read the material slowly and carefully. Give special attention to answering the questions you asked in ‘Organise’. Take care to connect what you are reading about the subject to what you already know.


Once you have read a section of the material, stop and answer the questions raised in

‘Organise’. This helps you check on how well you understand what you have read, and helps the content mean more to you. It also helps you remember more of what you read.


Focus on going over the material one more time. Pay special attention to the questions in ‘Organise’ that were the most difficult for you to answer.