3 Reasons Reading is the Key to Getting into College

Everybody knows that reading is really important once you’re in college. Most college classes typically involve lectures followed by massive reading assignments. If you don’t like to read, college is going to be a struggle.

Most people know this, but did you know that reading is actually the key to getting into college in the first place?

Here are three reasons reading is the key to getting into college:

1. Admission Tests

Your high school grades are important to colleges, but admission test scores are equally important.


SAT and ACT scores are important because they are consistent.  Grades can vary from school to school. An A+ at one school may not equal an A+ at another school. Some teachers require more out of their students. For example, getting a B+ in a challenging chemistry class may mean that you have learned and can apply more knowledge than a student who received an A+ in a chemistry class with a teacher who wasn’t challenging at all.

The bottom line is that if you want to get into college you will need to demonstrate your knowledge and ability through a good score on the SAT or ACT.

So what does any of this have to do with reading?

Reading drastically improves SAT and ACT scores. It’s all about vocabulary and comprehension. To do well on either the SAT or ACT you have to have excellent reading comprehension and vocabulary.  Being able to read (and understand what you are reading) will help you in every section of the admission tests. You will save a lot of precious time if you don’t have to stop and think about what words mean and what the questions are asking.

Reading is the single best way to improve vocabulary and comprehension. You can prepare for the admission tests by studying vocabulary specifically, but honestly, how long can you study the dictionary? Reading is a much more natural and effective way to improve your vocabulary. The earlier you start the better. Reading should be a part of your daily routine.

 2. Essays

When it comes time to start applying for college, students will need to be able to write. Essays are a crucial part of the college admission process as well as the scholarship process. Colleges want to find out about who you are and what better way is there than through your essays.

But wait, I thought this article was about reading not writing? It is, I promise.

Consistent and regular reading is one of the best ways for you to develop your own voice, your storytelling voice. Reading great books, magazines, blogs or anything else that interests you will help you learn how compelling stories are told. As you read you will naturally and effortlessly absorb great writing skills. You’ll learn more about writing from reading your favorite sci-fi series than you could possibly imagine and it won’t even feel like studying.

3. The Reading List

Are you smart? Prove it. Colleges want to know if you are smart enough to handle their most challenging courses. After all, colleges are all about academics. A lot of students will only submit the required information to colleges when applying, but you can do more.

Submit a copy of your reading list.

Show admission officers that you are self-motivated and that reading is a part of who you are. They know that reading is crucial to your success at college and this will go a long way in helping them see that you are ready.

So what are you waiting for? Set some goals for yourself this summer to read more than ever before. You’ll be glad you did.

What About You?

Now I’d like to hear from you. What’s your reading list look like? Do you even like to read?

Share your favorite book(s) of all time below. Maybe we can all find some great books to add to our reading list. Thanks so much.


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6 thoughts on “3 Reasons Reading is the Key to Getting into College

  1. Wish I had submitted a reading list back then!

    Back in high school my comprehension was probably higher than most because I read a lot of classics and could read quickly. My writing skills, however, were terrible. I didn’t know how to really organize an essay and I struggled to stay on topic.

    Writing and reading are two of the most critical skills we can use throughout our lives. I think it’s great that you’re using your talents to help the next generation succeed!

    My top favorite reads:
    1) Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    2) Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    3) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    4) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    5) Looking for Alaska by John Green
    6) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
    7) Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell

  2. Thanks for sharing Jennifer, and great list! Unfortunately, I’ve only read two of them; Hugo and Fitzgerald

    My short list of top reads might look somthing like:
    1) Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
    2) The Silmarilion by J.R.R. Tolkien
    3) Pollution and the Death of Man by Francis Schaffer

  3. ryin19 says:

    If you are looking for a easier and more convenient way to study vocal for the SAT, look no longer! The SAT tree is a blog that focuses on using root words in order to learn more than just one word at a time. It’ll save you time, and a headache!
    Check it out:

    • Thanks for sharing your resource. I just checked out your site and it’s pretty cool. I appreciate that as a high school student you are taking that kind of initiative to help others.


  4. ryin19 says:

    Reblogged this on thesattree and commented:
    A really nice resource for those of you who still doubt the power of the written word. Enjoy!

  5. Goat Song by Frank Yerby is my favorite book of all time. It’s a historical novel about the life of young Greek boy, complete with footnotes.

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