How to Become More Attentive while Reading?

How to become more attentive while reading?

Reading is a very befitting skill in today’s time. You read most of the information that you acquire today. However, we tend to forget most of what we read, but with some basic techniques, we can improve our memorization skills. We will discuss some of them below.

1. Start reading with a clear mind.

You need to ensure that you’re ready to read something. Reading requires your proper attention, so you’d have to make sure that your mind is fresh and able to perform the reading task. A quiet mind is the first step toward learning. Often than not, we find our minds scattered and unable to focus because our lives happen to move fastly, and our brains might get exhausted by dealing with data one after another. Meditation can calm you down and reduce the stress from your previous activity.


Most people find morning to be a quiet and convenient time of day to meditate. Others do it before bed to help them sleep. You could meditate during your lunch break or any other time that works for you. The key is how you react to your thoughts. If you focus on your thinking, your mind is like an electric fan with thoughts blowing everywhere, says Davich, author of 8-Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind, Change Your Life[1].


When you focus on your breathing or your body, thoughts can come and go like clouds across the sky. “You can look at them, realize they are just thoughts, and let them go,” he says. “You don’t have to have an emotional attachment to them.” He says, “The mind isn’t going to stop thinking. A zen master once told me the goal of mindfulness isn’t to suppress thinking but to surpass it.” A simple 1-minute breathing exercise[2] can relax your mind and prepare you for reading.

2. Ask yourself why you're going to read.

Another helpful habit is to ask yourself why you’re going to read. It can be for conducting research, a study, or just a novel you’re about to start, and in every context, you need to know what you should read and what you’re allowed to avoid. It reduces the burden of memorizing a lot of information from your brain. Asking yourself why you’re going to read prepares you for the incoming information, and you can be clearer about what you need to read more carefully from the text.


It will also help you from getting distracted by useless information on the pages. Asking questions has been proven effective for many of the authors. Sheba Leung[3], a translator who goes through tens of books daily, shares her trick[4] of asking questions before and after the reading process. According to her, the reading becomes more fun and engaging when we imply a simple question-answer strategy.

3. Sit with the correct posture.

The functioning of your brain is very much affected by your posture and position. An upright posture improves memory in general, some say, because sitting up straight helps increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and according to some accounts, by up to 40 percent. A lousy posture[5] can reduce your ability to focus and read attentively. You may even face problems understanding the sentences and get bored more easily. Through various experiments[6], Dr. Erik Peper, San Francisco State University, has assessed how body posture affects personal energy levels and the ability to generate positive and negative thoughts.


The relation between body posture and memorizing skills of humans is still to be explored further. Still, it’s a well-known fact that our postures are often embedded in our memories along with the rest of the data, and when reenacted, we tend to remember information. This implies the need to maintain a certain process throughout the reading posture and what posture could be better than the one which protects your body from strains and muscle stress.


You can correct your posture by simply aligning your hips, shoulders, and ears in a straight line. Get rid of any pressure falling upon your ankles and elbows, and you’re good to go. It’ll help you ignore health problems that come with bad posture and will also help you be productive at your work.

4. Reread and Revise

Rereading the text and revising the vital information right after finishing reading is an excellent technique to remember it for a long time. Just select the important sentences and only read them while rereading the text. This way, your brain finds it easy to revisit the information whenever needed. You should never leave out certain terms or sentences just because you don’t understand them, they could contain important information, or at least they build up your text like the rest of the sentences. 


An academic text is already highly compressed and suppressed for a student’s understanding, and leaving anything out could be a hazardous miss. Hence sit with complete dedication and research everything you don’t understand, this might break the flow of your reading, but you can always revisit. While revisiting, you do not even need to pressure yourself by reading whole sentences. 


Reading the critical words and phrases will help your brain figure out the rest of the text and memorize it. The process of revising can mean many things to people, but everyone should try summarizing the information in their own words. This helps you build a personal approach to the read text and helps you memorize it better.


Free mock tests are available from the official GMAT site (2 Tests Free). Similarly, many top publishers and online MBA portals offer free GMAT practice tests.,,, etc are some of the popular sources.


“After each mock test, check where you lag and what are your common errors in the tests. Before going to the next test, get rid of your errors. After each mock test, analyze the whole test to see the difference between two and among many and pick the practice questions according to the exam requirements.”– Amendeep H Mittal


5. Use your fingers

It’s easy to understand that to read attentively, and you need to fix your eyes on the lines and not wander around the text much. Repeatedly looking at other places or lines on the page wastes your time and disturbs your mind from memorizing. Your eyes can be trained to be more focused with a little practice. All you need to do is put your finger on it. You can use your fingers to guide your eyes through every line. 


With this technique, your eyes only read the text above your finger and remain focused. It is considered a practice for children and beginners, but we often forget how effective this technique is. It’s because tracking your finger helps you focus your mind solely on the text and prevents your eyes from peeking here and there. 


People also use blank cards and scales to block other lines from their sight, and they claim that it’s a highly useful trick. There are also certain apps that you can use on tablets to highlight only the words that you put your fingers on; this is really effective. While reading digitally, you should use your cursor and guide your eyes to follow it; there are also settings to run the text bar automatically over the text.

5. Avoid music

People claim that lighting to music helps them focus while studying and reading; however, it has been found untrue in many studies[7]. Listening to any kind of music is not good for attentive reading. Music does have a calming property, but that should be the state of your mind before reading the text, not during it. It contains vocals and different notes that can pull your attention out of the text. During the reading process, you should avoid any kind of noise or music that can distract you from memorizing the text.


Some studies find that the more music is new to the reader, the more they struggle to focus on reading, although if a song is familiar, it creates less trouble for readers. In no way must music be allowed to stick along with reading. Light and soft music can help you relax and quiet your mind for a good start in reading but make sure you’re in absolute quiet while reading, and the only sound that should be allowed is either you or your computer vocalizing what you read.