Ever wonder what reading speed the best speed readers in the world have achieved? Wonder no more. The world speed reading champion, Anne Jones, reads 4,700 words per minute with a 67 percent comprehension rate.
There are of course other individuals who claim they’ve reached speeds of 10,000 words per minute, but they’ve never publicly confirmed this skill. And of course, there’s Maria Teresa Calderon, who claims to read 80,000 words per minute with 100% comprehension. Considering that the average adult reader reads about 300 words per minute, that’s quite an achievement.
On average, after consistent speed reading training, speed readers achieve a reading speed of 1000 words per minute with comprehension rates between 65% to 95%.
One of the most popular ways people improve their speed reading are speed reading training courses and apps.
How to read 1000 words per minute
7 Speed Reading helps you read up to 3.471 times faster your current reading speed, so if you’re an average reader now (250 to 320 words per minute) then you can easily read at 1000 words per minute by the time you complete your speed reading training!
Several online test help readers identify their current speed reading level and offer tips and advice on how to read faster without sacrificing reading comprehension. Ultimately, reading fast without understanding or properly processing what’s being read is not much use, though.
But let’s put these speed reading levels in context:
– A 3rd grade student reads at 150 wpm, an 8th grade student 250.
– The typical college student reads on average 450 words per minute while college scholars read as much as 675 words per minute.
– As we’ve said previously, speed readers, manage to read about 1000-1500 words per minute.
– The world speed reading champion reads 4,700 words per minute.
You can take this reading speed test online to figure out your own reading speed rate.
What makes a good speed reader?
Speed readers have cultivated essential reading habits that you and I weren’t taught at school.
Your 1st grade teacher taught you to read out loud, and to hear in your head the sounds and words, in order to make sense of them. That was essential in connecting the dots between semantics, phonetics, and written language when you were 6 years old, but now that you’ve learned to read, it is no longer serving you to read out loud. It simply slows you down.
So one of the first habits speed readers get rid of is subvocalization: the sounding of words in your head as you read them. By eliminating this habit, you instantly free your mind to read at a faster pace.
Speed reading has another big enemy, regression. Not-so-good readers tend to slip back to what they’ve read instead of keeping their focus on the next word or sentence.
Considering that your attention span is now officially less than that of a goldfish, it is apparent how crucial it is to reduce regression.
To eliminate regression you must increase your focus. Don’t read for the sake of reading faster, read at a pace you will dictate to your brain. This pace should be comfortable enough to facilitate understanding yet uncomfortable enough so that you don’t feel tempted to reread a block of text
Watch this eReflect video explaining regression in depth.
What can make you a good speed reader?
To get better at reading, just practice speed reading. Of course, speed reading doesn’t apply to all types of reading. You can speed read an online article for key takeaways, but although you can speed read a classic like “Wuthering Heights” you may miss the nuances and details that the author crafted into the plot and the character development.
That being said, here are some techniques to get you off the ground:
– Understand your reading intention and goal. Why are you reading this? What do you want to extract or learn?
– Skim and scan chapter introductions and first paragraphs to ensure you only read what’s relevant. Remember that speed reading is smart reading. Read and keep only what you need.
– Learn to read more words at once. This means practicing your eye fixation, the number of words you can read at a glance. Needless to say, the more expanded your fixation, the faster you will advance your reading.
– Work out those eye muscles. Just like your abs and calves, your eyes need some exercise to be up for the task. There are several eye exercises you can do to protect and strengthen your eyes.
– Last but not least, you need to train your brain to process information fast and efficiently and use the entire brain when reading to boost your comprehension rate.
Ultimately, speed reading is being able to consciously control your reading speed instead of letting your bad habits determine the speed at which you read.
To instantly boost your reading you can:
– use your finger or a pen as a pointer to force yourself to read the next word faster
– consciously make yourself read the next word fast enough to avoid reading it in your head
– practice with a speed reading app to make the process more streamlined
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments