Your level of interest has a huge effect on whether you will retain information. The brain prioritizes by meaning, value and relevance. To have meaning, you must understand what you are learning. In order to remember something thoroughly, you must be interested in it and think that it has value and relevance in your life.
Your attitude has much to do with whether you remember something or not. A key factor to remembering is having a positive attitude that you get it right the first time. Attention is not the same as learning, but little learning takes place without attention.
After having read a section and reflected on what you have read and questioned yourself about the material, you are ready to take notes. Taking notes at this point in time will almost ensure that you are noting the important parts of the section. Go back over the paragraphs and highlight or underline only the main ideas and supporting details with no more than 10-15% of the page highlighted. Use marginal notations as a way to separate main ideas from examples and each of those from new terminology.
Look over your notes and the headings and subheadings in the text. Get an overall view of the main points.
Recall supporting details under each main point.
Predict test questions based on these main points, especially questions which would fall into the critical and creative levels of reading comprehension. Try true/false and completion-type questions from details. Essay questions are easy to make from the main headings. Answer your test questions.
*Remember, the more senses you use in storing your information, the better your retrieval and retention!
Memory is increased when facts to be learned are consciously associated with something familiar to you. Memory is essentially formed by making neural connections. Begin by asking, "What is this like that I already know and understand?".