We’d bet that no one deliberately sits down to read with the purpose of not understanding the text. However, we’re certain that you have been in a situation, probably more than once, where you “read” an assignment, closed the text, and thought, “What in the world was that about?” When you interact with a text in this manner you are reading passively. Active readers, on the other hand, set goals before they read an check their understanding as they read. When they finish, they can explain the main points and know that they have understood what they have read.
Excerpt from College Success Strategies by Sherrie L. Nist and Jodi Patrick Holschuh.