speed_reading

Speed reading – 7 useful tips

Speed reading

speed_readingPractising speed reading will help you to read faster.

There are a number of points that you need to consider when you are practising speed reading:

Speed reading tip 1. Keep going!

When reading, a lot of people stop and go back, reading the same words again. This is often simply a habit and one that does not necessarily help you understand any better.

When practising speed reading, spend some time reading forward only, even if you feel that you missed something or that you didn’t understand. With speed reading practice, you will find that you are spending less time reading the same words twice but can get just as good an understanding of what you are reading.

Speed reading tip 2. Use ‘chunking’ techniques

When you are practising speed reading, try to focus not on individual words, but on small groups of words (about 3 or 4 words) each time your eyes move. This technique is called ‘chunking’ – looking at a chunk of words at one time. Here is an example (your eyes should move to each different ‘block’ of text):

This is an example sentence to help you practice your speed reading techniques.

 

Speed reading tip 3. Stop reading to yourself

When reading, many people actually ‘say’ the words as they read them. This might be silently or a very quiet mumble, but this slows your reading speed down. Your eyes and brain can absorb information much more quickly that your mouth and brain can form the words. When you are practising speed reading, make sure yu are reading silently!

Speed reading tip 4. Use a marker

To keep an even pace and to stop yourself re-reading words (see point #1), try using a marker to keep you focussed. This can be another piece of paper that you move at a consistent speed, or even something simple like your finger or a pen.

The main aim is to keep the marker moving, even though you might want to stop or slow down.

When you first try this technique in your speed reading practice, you may find that you don’t remember anything of what you have read. Keep trying! Remember that you are re-teaching your brain how to read!

Speed reading tip 5. Read vertically, not horizontally

When reading slowly, it is common in western languages to read from the left to the right. However, when speed reading, you will eventually be able to read straight down the page, with your eyes chunking once to the left and once to the right of the centre as you move your finger, a pen or other marker straight down the page.

Speed reading tip 6. Be prepared

Before you try speed reading techniques with any text, try to get as much information as you can about what you are reading. Look for a title, any subheadings, images or text captions. Also very quickly scan for any bold, underlined or italicised text. Having some idea of what you are reading will help improve your speed reading skills.

Speed reading tip 7. Practice!

None of the techniques above will work by the end of today. You need to keep practising and using these speed reading techniques wherever you can. Newspapers, magazines, textbooks, online information – all of these are good practice material.

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