What Is Speed Reading and How to Learn It

Once the clock starts ticking and you have very little time to prepare a work presentation, exam or anything similar, one usually feels helpless. However, people who practice speed reading claim that they needn’t be so desperate even in such situations. If you are the king or queen of procrastinating, here’s what you need to do to beat the clock.

In case you are wondering, speed reading is the ability to run through the reading material and gather all the relevant information in the shortest period of time. This kind of skill might not be that common, but, it is acquirable. So, if you are interested in learning a bit more about how to practice speed reading, stick around!

Understanding Speed Reading

To fully understand speed reading, one will have to be aware of the fact that it is far from the perfect learning method. What speed reading does us that it simply helps you read rapidly while the brain recognizes only the important parts of the text. Moreover, the brain will gather all the phrases and sentences in bigger sections such as paragraphs or even pages. There is no focusing on individual words in the text. 

Speed Reading Techniques

There are various techniques to perfect speed reaching, and all of them include skimming the text. This means that the reader doesn’t need to focus on the “pronouncing” words in their head, but rather go over bigger chunks of text very quickly. This is possible because our brains can understand what we read even before we pronounce it. 

Some of the ways to practice skimming are to focus your vision on the text on the whole page rather than on individual words. Also, by practicing the reader needs to find a way to make shorter pauses between sentences and paragraphs. This can be done by allowing your brain to focus on the peripheral vision.  

There are more methods that could help improve your speed reading, and one of them is the pointer method. One can do pointing or hand pacing by simply following the finger or any pointer along the lines of the text. 

Another great method is underlining the text while hand pacing through the lines. The focus should be on the tip of the pointer and the reader should try to increase the reading speed as much as possible. 

The last but not the least effective method is scanning the text. The reader should scan the text by moving the eyes down the page and identifying some of the phrases, words, names, numbers, etc. This won’t help you learn all the details in the text but rather get the idea of what is going on in that text. 

More Tips on Speed Reading

Here are a couple more tips on how to perfect your speed reading in the easiest possible way:

  • The more you practice the faster you will get
  • Try reading something simple in the beginning
  • Try to measure your personal best record or WPM (words per minute)
  • Try to read in an environment without any distractions
  • Try covering the words that you have already skimmed