STEM Reading Skills

Reading Strategies for Math & Science Based Courses

BreakThru Points

  • Your textbook is a resource and not a burden
  • Science and math textbooks have different reading approaches
  • Math and science or both may be required for your major or profession.
  • Reading and studying math, science, engineering and technology require different skills from other disciplines .
  • Practicing the reading skills that follow improves comprehension, mastery, and amount of study time.
  • Taking notes about, in, and on the reading material is time well spent

Mathematics and science are required for an ever growing number of majors and occupations. In fact, most college majors require not only college algebra but also higher level math such as calculus..

Math and science are “doing” subjects, not “reading” subjects like some of the humanities and social sciences. The chart below is a simple example of the complexities you will find in your math and science readings.

Mathematically-based subjects require a progressive step-by-step learning of fundamentals called scaffolding that allows you to build each new skill upon a prior skill or concept already mastered. This progression of learning demands subject mastery and comprehension not memorization.

It is a certainty that math or science – or both – will be a part of your undergraduate program. Therefore, you need to start practicing the strategies in this section if you want to find success in your math and science courses and get more out of your reading and studying time.