Techniques for Speed Reading

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Enhancing your reading speed requires both time and dedication. Discover how to increase your reading pace in this informative article.

Whether you’re tackling a hefty nonfiction book or a brief Wikipedia article, being able to read faster can significantly increase the value you get from your reading sessions. Additionally, faster reading frees up more time for other activities. Like any skill, improving your reading speed takes practice and effort.

Thankfully, various apps, courses, and strategies can help you enhance your reading speed and comprehension. Let’s delve into some proven speed reading techniques and tools.

Understanding Reading Speeds

It’s important to recognize that reading skills vary widely among individuals. Any average reading speed is just that – an average. Comparing your own speed to the average can provide insight into how much you can improve.

According to Scholar Within, the average reading speed for adults in the United States is about 238 words per minute (WPM). When reading aloud, this speed decreases to 183 WPM.

However, reading speed is only part of the equation; comprehension is equally crucial. A person might skim a page quickly but fail to understand it. According to Reading Soft, a 60% comprehension rate is average, while a rate of 85% or higher is considered excellent.

Calculating Your Reading Speed

To calculate your reading speed, read a page with a known word count and divide the word count by the time it takes to read it. Alternatively, you can take an online reading speed test, like the one offered by Reading Soft.

Strategies to Increase Reading Speed

Regardless of your current reading speed, there’s always room for improvement. Here are some effective strategies to help you read faster without sacrificing comprehension:

1. Read More Often

Like any skill, reading improves with practice. Increasing your reading frequency will sharpen your reading skills and prevent regression. Plus, you’ll gain new knowledge along the way.

2. Silence Your Inner Monologue

Subvocalization, or the habit of silently speaking words in your head as you read, is common but can slow you down. Eliminating this habit can significantly increase your reading speed. This may take practice, but once you master it, you’ll read much faster.

3. Read in Chunks

Most of us learn to read one word at a time, but reading multiple words at once is much quicker. Practice focusing on groups of words rather than individual ones. Over time, you can train your brain to read entire lines with a single glance.

4. Avoid Re-reading

Many people habitually re-read text, which disrupts flow and slows down reading speed. While sometimes necessary for comprehension, reducing the amount of re-reading can help streamline your reading process.

Tools to Help You Become a Speed Reader

In addition to the strategies mentioned, several apps can enhance your reading abilities:

1. Reading Trainer

Reading Trainer offers a variety of games and exercises to improve reading skills, such as eye movement coordination and line reading. It’s available for free on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

2. Reedy

Reedy employs the rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) technique, displaying text one word at a time in quick succession to minimize eye movement and increase reading speed.

3. Synthy

If you struggle with reading speed, consider a text-to-speech app like Synthy. This app allows you to listen to text and adjust the reading speed to match your comprehension rate. Featuring high-quality AI voices and advanced note-taking features, Synthy offers a new way to experience reading. If you enjoy audiobooks and podcasts, you might find this approach particularly enjoyable. Try Synthy Premium today with a free trial!