How to speed read

Do you wish you could read fast and understand the information at the same time? Then you can do this by teaching yourself how to speed read, which will help when you are studying. Here are a few tips on how to speed read:

Stop talking to yourself

The majority of readers move their throats as if they were speaking the words. By doing this it slows down the speed you can read information. To prevent this from happening, you should chew gum or hum whilst reading.

Hide words you’ve already read

When reading you should cover the text that you have already read, as your eyes often move back to earlier words. This does not improve any understanding. If your eyes jump back to several lines behind, that is a sign you need to slow down.

Understand eye movements

It has been proven that we can only read when our eyes have stopped moving. Your eyes move jerkily, skipping and stopping on random words. You should improve this line by line (although this may be difficult at first!). Studies show that you can read eight letters to the right of your eye position and four to the left. This works out to two or three words at a time.

Make fewer eye movements

Your brain decides where to move your eyes. It looks at how long or familiar the following words look. If you train your eyes to move to specific places on the page, it will allow you to read faster.

Set a pace faster than you can understand

In order to become fast at reading and being able to understand the information, you need to set your pace faster than you would normally read. By doing this it will allow you to understand the main points quicker. Why not practice with this small exercise:

  • Whilst reading a piece of text, in your head say “one one thousand” calmly. You should aim to finish the quote at the same time as finishing a line from the piece of text. Even if you don’t understand anything to begin with, this will help speed up your eye movement. You should keep repeating this whilst getting faster.

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Sharnie Carter

Passionate about marketing and education. Currently studying a CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing via distance learning. When I'm not working or studying, I'm spending time with my young son and husband or hinching!

How to speed read