How To Prioritize Your Reading Assignments

I absolutely love to read, but when it’s assigned… eh, not so much.

Unfortunately, almost every class you’ll take in college will have assigned readings – and those readings would take up far too much of your time if you tried to do them all.

So how do you decide on which readings to do thoroughly, which to skim quickly, and which to skip entirely?

That’s what this week’s video is all about.

In it, you’ll learn how to triage your assignments – how to smartly prioritize the most urgent ones (the ones that’ll affect your grade the most).

If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.

Video Notes

Great tips on how to spend less time reading your textbooks

Here’s a Pinterest-worthy image if you’d like to share this post there.

What percentage of your reading do you actually do?

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Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

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  1. Glad you’re doing this series, Thomas. It’s a concept I’ve thought about a lot. I definitely apply this to the classes that consist more of in-class, slide-based lectures, as I generally don’t need to read everything in the textbook to do well. With classes that are more of a seminar/discussion-based style, however, I try to do as much of the reading as possible, as the class time is more about discussing and interpreting the material than learning it. It definitely depends on you major, I imagine. In English, my major, most of my classes fit into the latter category, and reading is obviously a large part of the course. Even with those courses, though, I put the majority of my effort into the actual primary texts we are reading for class, skimming the supplementary critical articles.

    You mentioned that Marketing was a class that required very little reading. Did you have any classes for which you had to do all the assigned reading to do well?

    Also, I noticed you removed the music. I think the videos are better without it.

    • You’re definitely right – classes where the expectation is for you to take part in a discussion should have their readings prioritized. Major does matter – and I forgot to mention that, from what grad students have told me, grad school places a lot more emphasis on doing lots of reading.

      For most of my classes, I could usually skim my readings or just pull relevant terms from them. As a business/IT major, most of my classes didn’t depend heavily on readings. However, I did have to do most of my readings in the Ethics class I took.

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