Speed reading offers a simple skill that with time and practice can help the average college reader to double his/her reading speed. This method reduces skipback, fixation and increases the fixation zone. In addition, it will help you to reduce vocalization, or sounding out each word as you read.
Prepare Yourself to Read
- Create a space in which there are few distractions and you can concentrate.
- Sit at a desk, with the text open in front of you. You cannot read more quickly slumped in a chair, prepared to relax rather than work hard.
- Gather your tools, including a pen, a text that is moderately challenging, and a watch with a second hand.
Practice Reading More Quickly
- Read a passage at your normal pace for 1 minute, using a pen to guide your eyes. Mark where you ended.
- Starting at the beginning of the passage again, and continuing to use your pen to guide your eyes, read for 1 minute trying to get twice as far.
- Again, starting at the beginning of the passage and using the pen to guide your eyes, read for 1 minute, trying to move three times farther than your first, slowest reading.
- When you are done, ask yourself whether you recall anything from the passage. Ask yourself whether you could piece together what the passage is about. Remember, this is just an exercise to help you learn to read more quickly, it is not necessary to feel that you recall the information to a degree that would be acceptable for class or an exam. And, as you practice, you will find that you are able to recall the information that you've read, even at a faster pace.
- Move on to the next passage in your text and repeat the exercise two more times.
- Do this for 10 minutes a day for two weeks. In that time, you will become more comfortable with the skill, you will read faster, and you will improve your comprehension.
Note: You may use a finger rather than a pen. Your finger or pen should move under the words you are reading and guide your eyes along. In other words the pen or finger should "push" your eyes, not the other way around. This will be uncomfortable at first, but you will quickly become accustomed to it.