I have heard many people telling me, “I wish I could read faster, I wish i had more time to read before my examinations.” Many people love reading books but are left behind only because they think their reading speed is slow. It is a myth that some people are born with super speed reading capabilities. Here i will discuss few methods and techniques with which your can increase your reading speed instantly. Believe me it works instantly, you just have to apply the techniques discussed here.
Well before we start let us under stand how reading works. Reading is base on a primary concept of “Sub-Vocalization”. Sub-vocalization means that your mind sees the written letters, thinks about the sounds those letters represent, and then connects these sounds to the meanings. Long story short, words are symbols of ideas. When we talk or read, we’re really just using symbols to communicate what we’re thinking.
Now lets identify a few bad habits which reduces reading speed :
1)Distractions in reading environment : Simply reduce the distractions in your surroundings while reading. For example listening to music, television or multitasking few things like accessing social media websites. The point here is to have minimal distractions in your environment. Less distractions help you focus on reading and learning.
2)Are You reading out loud ? : Many people have a habit of reading out loud which in fact reduces your reading speed. Reading silently is easily 5 to 10 times faster than reading our loud because it helps to eliminate or reduce the sub-vocalization effect.
3)Sub-vocalization ? : It is essentially a bad habit as regards to reading because it reduces your reading speed.The aim is to decrease sub-vocalization. Since words are directly related to meaning, controlling what you “hear” in your mind means that you can decrease the amount of time it takes to construct meaning.
4)Regression: How many times does it happen, that when you read you miss the line and have to search for the same again. This is called regression. It negatively affects your reading speed because your eyes are not moving forward all the time.
5)Do you focus on individual words ? : Remember that sentences, not individual words, have meaning. When your eyes stop, pause or wander, it means that you’re probably trying to derive more meaning out of an individual word rather than out of the sentence’s complete meaning.
Techniques to increase your reading speed at superman level (no pun intended):
1)Focus on block/group of words: The most important key here is to focus on group of words.Instead of reading individual words you should focus on reading a group of words. This means that you don’t want to think about passages word-by-word; you want to think about them phrase-by-phrase. We will define a “phrase” simply as a small group of words, between three and ten words long. Reading Phrases Instead of Words (stopping sub-vocalization and reading blocks of words) increases your speed dramatically. You don’t need to think about sounds of words. You don’t need to read every word. This technique will be almost 80% responsible to increase your speed.
2)Meta-Guiding: This is a fancy sounding word for a simple concept: All you need to do is use your finger, a pointer (like a pencil) or an index card to trace in front of your line of vision as you read. It helps you eliminate regression.
3)Remove Distrations: Make sure that you have distraction free environment where you can focus on reading. Try to avoid and eliminate distraction as much as possible.
4)Focus on eliminating the bad habits of reading: Avoid sub-vocalization. Improve Your Physical and Mental Conditions. Do not read when you are exhausted and tired off. Take suitable rest when needed. Improve your body posture while reading. Do not lay on bed and read, instead read in a good sitting position.
5)Practice reading Fast: Try to read as fast as you can, do not try to understand each and every word.The key is to practice reading at a pace where you simply cannot pronounce words or think about their sounds. Practice speed reading by timing yourself reading and then answering comprehension questions. By using already read text or material.
Here are the prime locations for your eyes and your attention:
- The first sentence( s) in a paragraph
- The last sentence( s) in a paragraph
- The first paragraph( s) in a passage
- The last paragraph( s) in a passage
- Sentences with bold, underlined, or italicized words
- Picture captions
Focus on these key areas in the text or book as a general rule, it can help you get collective information. The above list is general in nature and not exhaustive. You can add whatever you feel important.
Well following these tips and techniques and avoiding the bad habits of reading you can definitely improve your reading speed and be on superman mode for reading 😉
When You Should & Shouldn’t Speed Read
Speed reading is not a skill you need to use every time you read.
Normally its good to use speed reading in following situations :
- When You’re Reading for Pleasure.
- When You Don’t Need to Have a Perfect Understanding of the Whole Text. But need to have only general and observational understanding.
- When You’re Reading Something that is Easy.
- When You’re Reading Familiar Text. ( During Revisions )
When to avoid speed reading ?
- When You’re Studying First-Time Material.
- When You’re Reading Unfamiliar Text.
- When the Reading Level of the Content is High and text is difficult for you to understand.
Well I hope that this article would definitely help you to increase your reading speed. Follow our blog for learning such skill based education and concepts.