How to Read Faster: 5 Effective Ways To Improve Your Reading Speed: It is well-acknowledged that ‘readers are leaders‘. It is therefore trite to say that anyone who reads has the ability to comprehend the wisdom contained within the pages of a book, and such person welds great power. Interestingly, there are millions of books lying on the library’s shelf and thousands of words in the pages of school books. Many find it difficult to read these lined up books within a short period of time. The technique of speed reading has not just proved to be effective for students in educational institutions, it has also proven to be exceedingly useful to all those who are willing to bring themselves under the mighty tutelage of learning in any field. However, increased speed in reading may not be effective strategy for all students.
Speed reading incorporates choosing and selecting the fitting speed to back your learning and having the option to viably and effectively skim your readings for indispensable information. One may ask why compromise comprehension for speed? The goal which the technique of reading speed is set to achieve is to diminish the time it takes to peruse while growing and expanding retention concurrently.
But, the essence of this skill is not just to rummage over a hundred pages in an hour without corresponding comprehension of what has been read. More than anything, this strategy is expected to improve comprehension in tandem and at par with speed.
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5 (Five) Effective Ways to Read Faster
Below are 5 reading comprehension methodologies that will offer assistance to improve reading speed:
1. Understand organization before you begin reading:
Once faced with a book one desires to read, the reader is tempted to jump right into the first chapter, but this will only impede reading speed. It is important to review the table of content, the abstract, the Introduction and the headings. It helps the brain to anticipate the information to be processed and help the brain to locate where this information is located. Generally, it also helps in understanding the author’s point of view.
Most people see this as a waste of time but this will actually make the other pages of the book to be a walkover. Very important is the fact that the reader must set an objective and aim for reading the book and what kind of knowledge you hope on receiving from the text. This technique has proven to be useful especially when the skimming method is employed, it helps the reader to pay adequate attention when there is a relevant word, phrase or sentence in the course of reading.
2. Identify your sub-vocalizations and internal speech:
Sub-vocalization impedes reading speed, it is the auditory sounds that is used to pronounce, while internal speeches are the subconscious senses and images used to visualize what is being read or heard. There is a close relationship between internal speech and internal speech. Though sub-vocalization and internal speech can prove useful in helping to understand any difficulty encountered in the course of reading passages of the text, it impedes reading speed.
Thus, sub-vocalizations should be annihilated to the barest minimum for the reader to be able to ascend to great heights of speed reading, this can be achieved by way of counting out loud while reading. Once this skill has been mastered, the reader allow the involvement of all the senses to conjure the reign of internal speech. When the reader recognizes internal speech, controlling and suppressing it by being able to recognize words such as concepts without needing to rely on visualization will not be a problem. But this like every other skill, for the reader to improve on reading speed, diligent practice is key.
3. Refocus your eye movements while reading:
Most readers while reading practice the method of focusing their eyes on the left side of a page a while fixing their eyes on every word from left to right, they tilt their eyes a little ahead or slanting it a little behind of the text they are currently reading. This is done in view of remembering what they have already read or in anticipation of what they will read next.
If the technique discussed above is employed, it not only slows down reading speed, it also reduces reading comprehension because it engages only one hemisphere of the brain at a particular time. To improve reading speed and to increase comprehension, the both sides of the hemisphere must be engaged. Also, the eye should be fixed on the middle of a line of text; and the peripheral vision should be used to anticipate words at the beginning or end of a text. If difficulty is encountered on the first try, use a visual pointer to help maintain concentration on the middle line of the text.
4. Strategize: From time to time, it is pertinent for the reader who wants to improve on reading speed to strategize. Stumbling blocks like distractions can be avoided. Distractions often occurs either because of the environment or it all happens in the brain when the mind drifts on and off. Those environmental distraction stem from noise of any kind. As a reader desiring to improve on reading speed, one has to master the skill of avoiding distractions. It starts by first of all identifying what your distraction are.
Different kinds of readers encounter different kinds of distractions that vary. The next step for the reader to take is to discover, conjure and create that environment where this distractions and interruptions are minimized to the barest minimum. This will help the reader to focus on the words in the pages of the book desired to be read; practicing this method not only enhances comprehension, it greatly improves reading speed.
Distractions or interruptions slow down reading speed by causing the reader to glance back and forth to words earlier read. To employ this skill, it advised that the reader should practice with simple uncomplicated literatures with less intricacies. By doing this, the reader will be able to decipher the technique that works best for them.
5. Practice speed reading: As with any newly learned skill, practice is necessary to the break old habits. At first, when most readers encounter speed reading as a new technique, they will find it seemingly clunky. However if this skill is mastered with great proficiency, it will feel less awkward. You have to practice, by every means possible.
With consistent practice, mastery of this skill is not far. When the newspaper man delivers the papers, you can practice with these over a cup of coffee. During free periods, you can also practice this technique. It is very important to measure and record every progress to monitor your mastery of this technique. It will help to use a timer while practicing speed reading in a particular selection of text.
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Conclusion: When you find yourself trapped in a sea of unread books, research papers, or lineups of an Amazon wish list containing 100 titles and you are desperately searching for methods to improve your reading speed in order to fully unlock the potentials of such book and the wealth of knowledge hidden underneath each line, you are advised to practice the above 5 methods and in no time, you would gain mastery of the this technique while improving also on retention and comprehension. However, it is advised that caution and balance should be applied as the substance of this technique will not be actualized without corresponding comprehension of what has been studied.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.