What Is Speed Reading?

Explanation of speed reading. How speed reading can help you learn quicker.

So much to do, so little time. So much information, so little time to read it. In this day and age there is more information than ever before. Millions of books and the internet provide us with a surplus of information. There is not enough time to read everything we want to read. There is simply too much. However, you can consume more information in shorter time through speed reading. Speed reading allows you to take in large amounts of information in a short period of time. This article will not have you speed reading 3,000 words per minute, but it will show you how to increase your speed significantly. You will also learn the basic techniques of speed reading, along with the do's and dont's of speed reading.

When you first learned to read, you would say the word out loud and sound it out. Then you upgraded to whispering the word because people were annoyed when you read aloud. The stage you are now at is saying the word in your head. Most people tend to read this way. Saying the word in your head will cut your reading speed tremendously. The average person reads at a speed of 250 words per minute. This can be translated to a little more than half a page of a book per minute.

How do you calculate your reading speed? The speed is measured by how many words per minute you can read. Get some reading material, preferably a book. Find out how many words are on the page. Time yourself for one minute. Start your timer and start reading. When the timer beeps stop. If you counted 500 words on the page and you read half of the page, then you are probably reading at 250 words per minute. This is average.



The mindset you should have when trying to speed read is looking at the word and recognizing it. Don't say the word in your mind, just look at it and recognize it's importance. Later you will recognize clumps of four words or more to increase your speed. This is the first and most important step in speed reading, recognizing words.

The next step is technique. As with any other skill, speed reading requires technique. You should first be sitting up straight with your book flat on a horizontal surface, such as a table or desk. Next, you should be able to see the entire page. This is necessary if you want to recognize clumps of words. Lastly, you should be focused. It's hard to read with a lot of noise. Find a quiet place to read. This will help your comprehension of the text.

You need something to guide your eyes while reading. That's right, you should use your hand. Remember when you were little, you would read using your finger? This is a great technique, only now you're using you hand to underline each line. Move your finger smoothly across the page. At the end of the page, lift your hand slightly above the page and continue to the beginning of the next line. No need to go rush, start out slow. Keep your eyes focused on the words as you recognize them while using your hand as a guide. This will increase your speed.

Now read something using both techniques that I showed you. Recognize the word and underline the line with your hand. Don't forget to time yourself. Read the same thing you read earlier. Notice a difference? You should. You probable doubled your speed from 250 to 500. Maybe even higher. There are many different techniques to use, but this is the most basic.

The third step is practice. Practice makes perfect. Set time intervals. Read using different techniques, but make sure you understand what you're reading. You'll notice your reading speed increase with new heights to reach.

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