Speed Reading For Education
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Stephen L. (Reviewer)
Most people get into the habit of reading at a pace they find comfortable without really thinking about how fast that really is. This means that if you think you’re reading quickly, but you really aren’t, you won’t be motivated to learn to speed read. In fact, you probably won’t think about your reading speed at all until you’re faced with a sudden “reading crisis” – for example, being told by your boss to review a stack of reports over the weekend and present a summary of those reports for a Monday morning meeting. If you don’t know what’s slowing down your reading speed, you’ll probably find it hard to overcome those obstacles in time for that meeting. In order to avoid this crisis situation, take a minute and think about how you read, and how you might improve your reading skills. In this post, we’ll identify some of the primary problems that slow reading speed, and give you some pointers on how to fix them.
First of all, do you read words one at a time, or are you able to read and process multiple words at once? If you know how to “chunk” words into phrases and take in text in larger units, you’ll definitely speed up your reading rate. Part of learning to do this is practicing widening your visual field so that you can see more words at once, and part is learning to relax and trust your brain to absorb words as phrases. Once you trust your ability to read in this way, you’ll also be able to eliminate the bad habit of regression (automatically going back over text unnecessarily) and learn to always keep moving forward in the text as you read.
One of the best ways to eliminate regression and have confidence in your understanding of text is to focus on the material that you’re reading. The ability to focus your mind is just as important as the ability to focus your eyes – and perhaps more, because you can focus your eyes on text quickly, but if your mind isn’t focused, you’re just exercising your eyes and not absorbing the information your eyes are seeing. Eliminate distractions around you and learn to concentrate on the text in front of you, rather than the cell phone or computer or television or person walking by or anything else that interrupts your focus.
Because practice makes perfect, an excellent way to learn to focus is to read as much as you can, every day. You’ll get into the habit of focusing on the text, and if you practice reading in a variety of situations, from a quiet library to a noisy commuter train, you’ll learn to shut your eyes and ears to everything but the words on the page.
Keep reading this blog, and we’ll keep giving you helpful hints on how to speed read that will keep you focused on your goals.