Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Speed Reading Tips

Speed reading is a technique by which an individual can increase the reading speed of any book, be it fiction or non-fiction. An average person can read anywhere between 200 to 250 words per minute, but with speed reading tips, a person can increase his/her speed to 500 to 600 words per minute. The most important thing is that the person does not merely increase his reading speed but is also able to retain the information given in the reading material. This is a very essential skill for college graduate students who have to wade through tons of reading material to write their assignments and do research work for their thesis. The primary reason for a low reading speed is our inability to judge what to read and what portion to skip.

Speed Reading Techniques

Here we will present to you some tips for improving your reading speed.

Skim Through the Material and Increase your Eye Span
To improve your reading speed, you need to first skim through the material that you are going to read. If you have a rough idea about the topic, it becomes easier to understand and retain the material. If you are reading a textbook, then it is a good idea to read the summary, introduction or preface before reading the main text, reading the summary will prepare you, and give you a guide as to what you need to learn from the text. Your eyes can take in several words at a time and this is known as eye span. The longer your eye span, the more volume of information your brain can assimilate. Avoid reading word-by-word, and try reading chunks or blocks of word in a sentence. The best thing to do while reading, is to skip over words such as: the, a, it, to, etc., as even if you skip over them, you will still comprehend the main idea of the sentence you are reading.

Do not Re-read
The most common mistake made by poor readers, is frequently pausing, hn the middle of their reading to go back and dwell on some previous sentences. This is done mainly due to poor comprehension skills which leads to loss of flow and structure of the text with overall confusion and distraction. One way to avoid doing this, is to take a piece of paper and use it to place it over the text you are reading, covering each line once you have finished reading it.

Avoid Reading out Loud
Sub-vocalizing is a tendency that most people find hard to break, and do it without even realizing it. Sub-vocalizing reduces the reading speed to considerable extend, since you are reading at a speed which is just around your speaking speed. Some people move their lips while reading while others tend to "read in their head". Both these methods contribute to a low reading speed. The best way to break this habit is to be conscious while reading and if you catch yourself moving your lips, just place a finger on your mouth.

Factors That Reduce Reading Speed

Some factors that reduce the reading speed are as follows:

  • Vocalization
  • Regression
  • Slow response to the reading material
  • Poor evaluation in choosing which aspect is more important
  • Low attention span
  • Decreased eye span
If you are reading in a crowded room, you can try to block out all sounds by using earplugs. To retain what you have read, you need to concentrate and focus on your reading material. Hope that these speed reading tips help you to increase your reading speed and skills.