Tips to Prepare High School Students for College-Level Reading

By Huntington Learning Center

As students mature, they learn how to study effectively and build those ever-important test-taking strategies for high school. By the time strong students begin thinking about how to study for the SAT or ACT, they’ve acquired many of the subject skills they need to perform well, but a good SAT or ACT score is not a guarantee of college success. As Eileen Huntington, CEO & Co-Founder of Huntington Learning Center explains, high-achieving high school students often struggle to adapt to the rigors of college right away—especially when it comes to reading. “College is a whole new ballgame in terms of expectations and workload, and one of the biggest differences is the way students are expected to read and study material,” he/she says. How can students prepare for college-level reading? Huntington offers these tips:

Think critically while reading. In college, professors expect students to have a variety of reading strategies in their skillset toolbox. Examples include reading for information, reading to form an opinion, reading to recall facts, and reading to summarize or understand the big picture. It’s essential that high school students strengthen their critical thinking skills while reading so that they can analyze that which they read in different ways.

Expand the vocabulary. The more high school students read, the better. Reading a wide variety of materials—from books to essays to newspapers to blogs—helps students acquire new vocabulary, which will help them in college. It’s also important for students to learn to embrace the dictionary and the thesaurus, which will help them get into the habit of looking up unfamiliar words and different word choices for common words.

Interpret. There’s no place for passive reading in college. Students should strengthen their analytic reading by breaking down complex passages. They must practice figuring out an author’s purpose and drawing their own conclusions. When reading, students need to think deeply about how they feel about texts and how an author’s approach does or does not influence their feelings and opinions.

Read with depth. In college, students are expected to read with depth so that they have a strong understanding of texts and can talk intelligently about them. Students should read to understand and reread if necessary to ensure they are able to share their opinions on the text, predict what might happen next, summarize the main points, and more.

If you are concerned about your teen’s ability to keep up with college-level reading, call Huntington. We can help assess where your teen is falling short and help him or her develop reliable strategies to read complex texts, analyze thoroughly, maximize comprehension and excel in classes.  


Huntington also offers an Advanced Study Skills program for students at the high school and college level.   Study skills are key! In order to be successful, students must have the tools necessary to effectively acquire, retrieve, analyze, and communicate information. Huntington will teach students higher-level strategies and concepts that are necessary to study efficiently and effectively.  Your child will focus on a range of study skills while learning how to apply these skills to study independently at home.


Call 1 800 CAN LEARN to learn more about how we prepare high school students for college and career success in reading and all subject areas.

About Huntington

Huntington is the tutoring and test prep leader. Its certified tutors provide individualized instruction in reading, phonics, writing, study skills, elementary and middle school math, Algebra through Calculus, Chemistry, and other sciences. It preps for the SAT and ACT, as well as state and standardized exams.  Huntington programs develop the skills, confidence, and motivation to help students succeed and meet the needs of Common Core State Standards.  Founded in 1977, Huntington’s mission is to give every student the best education possible.  Learn how Huntington can help at For franchise opportunities please visit  

©2017 Huntington Mark, LLC. Huntington Learning Center®, the three-leaf logo, and 1 800 CAN LEARN® are registered trademarks of Huntington Mark, LLC. Each franchised Huntington Learning Center is operated under a franchise agreement with Huntington Learning Centers, Inc.


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