For many students, college is a time where they seemingly have more to accomplish than they actually have time to do. In an effort to complete the high-stakes assignments (those with a grade attached), students are often guilty of leaving other things undone. One such thing is the assigned reading for their classes. Below, you will find five reasons why it is important to make time to complete assigned readings.

To know the terminology before it is discussed in class.

Each area of study comes with its own set of vocabulary. The first place you will encounter that terminology is in the assigned readings for class. When you come across a word you don’t understand, look it up. This will give you an understanding of its usage before you encounter the term in your professor’s lectures. When you have not read, and hear unfamiliar words used in class, you will struggle to understand the concepts and ideas.

To learn content needed for the course.

Similar to above, each course has a baseline of functional knowledge required to be successful. Reading prior to class helps fill in the content gaps and alerts you to areas you need to improve through additional research.

To gain a different perspective.

Reading provides different perspectives on a subject or event. Completing assigned readings will help you consider other viewpoints than your own preconceptions and allow you to more fully understand how others view the matter.

To become an independent learner.

Learning should not end with college graduation. If you learn to find and read academic journals, texts, and essays while you are a student, you will be able to benefit from similar texts after graduation.

To earn better grades.

Finally, the extrinsic motivator: Grades. Even if your professor is not assigning quizzes to assess your reading, there is academic benefit to completing assigned readings. At times, you may be expected to know information that is not covered in class. On other occasions, the explanation of a concept in the text may resonate with you more than your professor’s explanation.

College is a time for you to learn. The assigned readings that accompany a class are carefully chosen to supplement the information delivered in the classroom. So, the next time your professor assigns reading and you question its necessity, remember completing assigned readings makes an impact on your learning and your grade.

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