The key to success in any sector whether it is personal, professional or educational lies in the amount of knowledge a person has accumulated over time. Although there are a variety of sources to expand one’s knowledge, reading still holds its foremost position in gaining knowledge. As an average person can read 250 to 300 words per minute, it is essential for people to increase their reading speed who wish to comprehend more knowledge in a limited span of time. Speed-reading is a habit which can be developed over a period of time and when developed can help anyone in improving their learning speed. So, if you are a student or freelance researcher, take a look at the below tips which once inculcated will help you gradually improve your speed-reading.
Top 10 Tips Improve Your Speed Reading
Learn the Art of Reading Without Subvocalising
The most difficult part of initiating your speed-reading journey is to break the habit of reading without subvocalising. Although most of us while reading do not say the words loudly, we pronounce these words in our subconscious mind. As pronouncing every word takes some amount of time for reading, to reduce the reading time, it is necessary to simply absorb the words. This can be done by just observing the words without actually pronouncing them. While the idea might appear as obscure to many, a little bit of practice will help you go the long way.
Group Your Words
Reading one word at a time can slow down your reading speed. Grouping your words can help you in reading multiple words at the same time allowing you to read much faster. This can be started by grouping three or four words together and further considering a whole line as a single chunk. Focusing on meaningful words and paying less attention towards verbs and nouns will make the process much easier.
Use Your Index Finger as Pointer
During speed-reading, one tries to move quickly which makes it difficult to maintain a consistent reading pace. Using your finger to underline the text from one corner of the page to the another, will help you set a momentum between your eyes and your fingers. As you glide your finger as a pointer you can find it easy to maintain a constant reading flow and minimise the chances of skipping important words.
Browse Through the Material First
As soon as you start reading a new book, invest some time in going through the main points first such as the table of contents, subtitles, captions, etc. to get an overall idea of the content. Knowing the structure of a book will help you understand which parts of the book need to be read carefully and which parts can be covered with a glance. In this way, you can retain the important information and overlook the unnecessary content.
Prioritise Your Reading Material
Before reading the entire content, take a look at the whole material and divide it into different categories based on its importance as extreme, moderate and least important. As your mind is clearer and sharper in the beginning, start reading with the most important part first and gradually move on to the remaining parts. This will improve your reading comprehension while saving a lot of time.
Improve Your Vocabulary
One cannot simply read and grasp a text without actually understanding the meaning of every word. In cases where you fail to understand the meaning of a particular word, you need to slow down and re-read the sentence or check the dictionary to understand its meaning. Do not let this hinder your reading speed. Try working on improving your vocabulary in your spare time. A wider vocabulary will help you in boosting your overall intelligence as well as your reading skills.
Create Your Own Questions
Another way of improving your speed-reading and efficiently processing useful information is by creating your own questions from headings and subheadings of the material. By doing this you can develop an ability to meticulously examine the text for answers and differentiate between information which is of least importance. This will also be helpful in building more focus on the important content and omitting the unnecessary content.
Set a Proper Reading Environment
Environment and physical posture play a great role in influencing the ability of a person to grasp an information. A tired body and mind may affect your reading by reducing your speed and ability to understand. Avoid reading important stuff while lying on the bed or in a dim light as it will create a relaxing environment making it difficult to concentrate. An ideal environment for reading and comprehending data is in a proper light where a person’s eyes do not need to strain much and while sitting at a proper desk where one can maintain a good body posture.
Use a Speed-Reading App
With a majority of us depending on smartphones, tablets or laptops for reading, using an app which can streamline the entire process of reading and learning can be really helpful. Some of the useful apps such as Spreeder, ReadMe, OutRead, Accelerator, Reedy etc. can act as great tools for practicing speed-reading. As these apps come with excellent features they are ideal for mastering the art of speed-read at your own pace and track your progress while saving a lot of time lost in manually tracking the time.
Set a Goal and Practice
Depending on your personal interest and flexibility set a goal to read a fixed number of pages per day or week. An easy way to set a reading goal is to first record your base reading time and set a timer reducing the time by a few minutes. By doing this you will be able to perform better each time and reach your ultimate speed-reading goal. Also, the more you read, the better speed-reading skills you will develop. Practicing your speed-reading skills will help you in effectively boosting your reading competencies.
Ellie Richards is an online Marketing Manager for PhD Writing company Original PhD. She specializes in research, content and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology.