Learning to Speed Read
Speed reading is a beneficial skill that is not only necessary to being a successful student but can definitely reduce the time for studying. Although the level of reading efficiency that can be reached varies from person to person, you can improve your reading/comprehension speed by practicing really easy steps. Sometimes speed reading classes are offered locally and some programs are available online that only take a bit of your time. You can also find speed reading classes on youtube.
In order to read fast and remember what you read, practice these tips:
- Read more – read in your free time, and find books related to hobbies/subjects that you like. Try to challenge yourself by reading higher level vocabulary so that when you are reading from a textbook you will not get stuck on a word.
- Try practicing speed reading by forcing yourself to read a little faster. Use your finger or a pencil (or some kind of guide) and move it over the text really fast, guiding your eyes to follow it. Take it a bit faster each time, and stop after a passage and try to recall what you read without looking back at it. This can teach you how much you actually remember from a passage, although it differs for different subjects. In more difficult subjects your speed may be a little slower, and when you are reading a subject you really like or think is really easy, your speed might be a lot faster.
- There are other methods of “guiding your eyes” once you become better at speed reading, such as zig-zagging. Look at different phrases on a page and see if you need to read in more depth.
- “Skimming” can be a quick way of finding out the topic and main points, while going through the text fast. This can involve skipping some parts altogether and should not be the way you read important course material or texts from which you need to know the details and understand everything thoroughly. Focus on words in bold print, lists, and anything in italics.
- If you’re really interested in improving your speed reading, and finding out how fast you can read, try measuring your words/minute. Make sure you stop after a passage/chapter and test yourself on what you read without looking at the passage. However, the “fastest reading pace” is not the objective. Although there are amazing speed readers out there, a lot of the fastest only get about 50% comprehension of the text they read. Try to find a balance between how fast you can read while feeling confident that you understood what you read.
Whenever you are reading, it’s always a good practice to put together a set of key points from the reading. While this will slow you down, it will give you material for your study guide..