Learn to Speed Read
Do you have tons of books laying around that you haven’t read because you don’t have the time? The average person can read about 200-250 words per minute, but there is no reason you can’ double, triple or quadruple that amount. Here are some tips on how to learn to speed read.
- Tip Number 1- Read the table of contents, the review and the chapter summaries.
These are often the most important points the author wants you to know and understand. After you read these, your brain will be looking for these points as you read. This allows you to process the reading material faster. This is an important step to take when trying to learn how to speed read.
- Tip Number 2 – Don’t Sub-vocalize.
In other words, when you read, don’t say the words to yourself.
Don’t read to yourself, even if you’re saying them very softly to yourself. The act of saying them is going to slow your reading down. Do not sub-vocalize the word. Some people even chew gum while reading to prevent themselves from doing this. Moving your lips and actually reading and enunciating the word, slows you down. Learning how to speed read is learning to take in as much information as you can, in a shorter amount of time. Speed reading is what your brain can process, not necessarily how fast you can vocalize the words.
- Tip Number 3– Studies also show that if you listen to music, especially classical music, when you read, it’s going to improve your reading speed.
We are unsure why this is, maybe because classical music relaxes your brain, but it has been known that listening to music while you read, does help you to read faster. So consider listening to some Mozart or Beethoven to help improve your reading speed.
Learn to speed read by listening to some classical music.
- Tip Number 4– Force your eyes to move across the page by using your finger or a pen.
This tip is the most important part of speed reading. Let’s say the sentence you read is:
The boy ran to the store.
Most people read it this way:
The, the boy, the boy ran, the boy ran to, the boy ran to the, the boy ran to the store.
You may not realize that you’re reading the sentence like this. Most people are unaware that their brain is processing the information in that pattern. It’s called visual regression. What the eyes are doing is, it’s going back and forth and reading all the words that you’ve read before. It’s doing it so fast that you don’t even realize it.
Visual Regression is one of the biggest things that slow down your reading. So, instead, take your finger or a pen or pencil, or a marker or highlighter and read with that and force your finger or pen across the page and it will force your eyes to follow your finger. That alone, should double your reading speed, because it prevents your eyes from bouncing around. Learning to speed read requires your full attention and focus.
- Tip Number 5– Learn to see groups of words.
For example: If you see the three words Statue of Liberty, you see it so many times and you know it goes together, your eyes are trained to see that phrase as a group. You’re not reading statute-of-liberty, word for word, you read it together as a whole.
If you learn to do that to everything you read, it is going to speed up your reading pace. Taking in groups of words, not only helps you to read faster, it allows your mind to take in the information quicker. Learn to speed read by not processing a word individually, but as a group.
- Tip Number 6-Read the first and last sentence of the paragraph and take a look at the middle.
Doing this gives you an overall idea of what the paragraph is about. The first sentence usually tells you what it’s going to be about and the last sentence usually sums it up. So if you read those 2 sentences and just zoom through the middle, you will probably get the gist of that paragraph. To learn to speed read requires you learn the information faster.
- Tip Number 7– Go faster than you think is possible.
You’ll be amazed at how much you can retain and the speed that you’re reading by pushing yourself to go faster than you think is possible. Your mind has the ability to process information much faster than you are able to comprehend. The important thing is to push yourself by going faster than your normal speed. You’ll be reading faster than you ever thought before by doing so. Learn how to speed read by forcing yourself to read faster than your usual pace. Stepping outside of your comfort zone is something you’ll have to train your mind to do, to learn to speed read.
One thing you need to know in speed reading is you need to know how fast you are currently reading and engage in your progress. Speed reading is helpful to you when you have a lot of books to read or a lot of material to learn. Speed reading takes time and practice to learn. Once you double, triple or quadruple your reading speed, it’s an ability that will serve you well in all aspects of your life. Speed reading can be beneficial as well as fun.
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