Skip to Main Content

How to Read a Textbook: Tips

A four-step method for reading a textbook with greater attention, with build-in note taking and test preparation. Never read a chapter more than once.



  • When you stall on a brief summary, step back and keep it simple. If the paragraph isn't large or complex, neither is the summary. Neither is your anticipated test question.
  • Don't try to do this a couple of nights before the test. 
  • Don't do this method for more than an hour at a time until you've adjusted to it.

Yes, It Really Works

  • I used this method, recently, when I was teaching from a textbook I had never read.
  • I was astonished at how well it worked.

Subject Guide

Profile Photo
Lisa Bartle