Speed Reading For Education
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Stephen L. (Reviewer)
Finally! Max of The Crab & The Medicine gave his verdict for using 7 Speed Reading Software in an experiment.
Read his 7 speed reading review below.
Some time ago I posted about the start of my software-based speed-reading experiment. Now, after several weeks of training, I can tell you how it was an my impressions, thoughts and feelings. But let’s start from the beginning.
The tool: 7 Speed Reading
I already wrote in my previous post, that after some research I decided to buy the product with the best reviews: 7 Speed Reading from eReflect. I bought the software, requested an additional license key to install it on a second machine, which I was promptly granted, and started my training.
This is how the basic 10 day training programm of 7 Speed Reading is called. The goal it aims to is to triple your reading speed. When I started the training I was not a complete novice (you may know it if you have read my previous posts about speed reading), had already tried some techniques and proceeded with my training after having read Phil Chambers’ (and meanwhile even Tony Buzan’s) book.
Due to the fact that I already had reached an acceptable average speed of around 500 WPM, I did not expect to triple my speed within 10 days. In fact, this was not the case. Nevertheless, after the 10 day training program, my speed improved up to an average of 620 WPM, with a reading comprehension above 80%. Based on this data, I can say that for me the program worked. It’s far from the promised results, but as I said, I was no novice and started from an already high reading speed.
Faster Speed Reading: Skill comes with practice
After the “Triple your reading speed” 10 day program, I continued practising speed reading with 7 Speed Reading. In the first few weeks I practised every day, then I reduced my training to 3 times a week for about 20 minutes per session.
Now, several weeks later, my reading speed has reached about 700 WPM, maintaining a 80% comprehension level; see the graph below for more details.
The importance of your vocabulary
I started my speed reading training using English texts, but later on used German and Italian (which are my native languages), too. I thought that my reading speed would be about the same in all languages, but this was not the fact. My reading speed in German and Italian was about the same, but 200 WPM higher than my reading speed in English. Although I’m used to reading in English, the main difference lies in the vocabulary: my vocabulary of German and Italian is much richer than English. Therewith, I can confirm what many speed reading books and articles claim: enriching your vocabulary for sure helps to increase your reading speed.
The following chart displays how my reading speed increased during the software based training.
Speed and Comprehension with Software
The software training definitely helped to increase my reading speed beyond what I already had achieved. What does this mean? Is it necessary to use a software in order to reach certain results, or does it depend on other factors?
Based on what I experienced, these are my conclusions:
– If you are new to speed reading, you can improve your reading speed quite a lot just by learning to apply its basic principles
– If you want to go even further, you need to practice regularly for a longer period
– You can practice without software, e.g. by using a guide and a metronome, but for me, using a software tool helped a lot. It focusses on the various aspects you need to improve (field expansion, pace training, avoiding regression, etc.) and makes the process itself easier
After various months of speed reading, I’d like to add the following:
Speed reading works, but not everybody will be able to reach the same improvements, and beyond a certain limit, comprehension will drop and the additional speed increase is useless. Hope to see you soon for my next self-experiment!
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