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Have you ever wondered how to learn speed reading?
When you know how to speed-read, you can consume five to ten times more written information than someone who plods along mouthing the words to themselves.
Reading ten times faster translates directly into higher grades, more income, and more enjoyment from life.
If you have a long list of books you want to read, but never have the time, you should think about learning to speed read. If you want to improve your SAT Critical Reading score, you definitely want to learn speed reading. If you’re swamped and behind in your work at the office, speed reading can really cut back on your stress.
A common question I get when I start talking about reading speed is, “Do you really believe in speed-reading” or “Is Speed Reading Real?”.
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If you have that question yourself, I suggest following the link and reading my article on that topic, but long story short – yes, I do, because all my life I’ve read at such a speed that teachers, parents, and friends have trouble believing me.
So I KNOW that high-speed reading is possible. You just need to know how to learn to speed read.
If you want to learn how to speed-read, the first thing you need to address is “subvocalization.”
Subvocalization is that “internal speech” inside your head as you read to yourself. It sounds like a paradox, but you’re basically reading aloud… silently.
You may imagine yourself speaking the words on the page. You might or might not move your lips or facial muscles along with your reading. Subvocalization limits your reading speed, which can be incredibly fast, to your speaking speed, which is much slower.
An average speaking speed is usually around 200 WPM, but when you figure out how to speed read, you can hit 1000+ WPM, and that’s conservative.
I read one really interesting strategy that might help you eliminate subvocalizing….
The idea is, while you’re reading, you repeat one word – like “coffee” – over and over in your mind. This word should have nothing to do with what you’re reading. Try this out – it might help you learn more about speed-reading once you see that you can easily comprehend the words on the page without actually hearing them play in your head.
Of course, with a method like this, constant practice as well as vocabulary-building and daily personal free-reading are key – it might take a few weeks or months to make the improvement permenant… but it’s totally worth it if you’re having trouble figuring out how to learn speed reading.
Another way of saying this is “See->Understand” is much more efficient than “See->Say->Understand” The bottom line: one of the most important steps in learning how to speed read is minimizing or eliminating your subvocalization to break the speech-speed barrier.
Want another tip on how to learn Speed Reading? Try software!
Try some speed-reading software. I’ve reviewed a bunch of different programs and courses and found one that actually works as promised (it’s called Ace Reader and I love recommending to students and anyone else who wants to read faster without too much work)
What I love most about this program is it continually adapts to your current reading speed, and pushes you to improve automatically without being ridiculously demanding… plus it’s actually pretty fun to use, and only takes 15 minutes or less a day to see results in a short time.
Speed-reading software is the best and most efficient way to figure out what speed reading is all about and improve your own reading speed. Back in the day, we had low-tech speed-reading courses, in the forms of books and audio programs.
Personally, the idea of a “Speed Reading Book” has always cracked me up. I mean, seriously? The next evolution in how to learn speed reading was the “audio program” concept.
But how the heck can an audio program help develop a visual skill? Sounds like trickery and snake-oil-salesmanship. These courses always seemed to cost hundreds of dollars, too…
But now we’re in the computer age, and there are better ways to learn speed reading. I think it makes a lot more sense to learn speed reading through an interactive program that actually makes use of technology in an appropriate manner.
It’s ironic that the personal computer – which, because of things like YouTube, LolCats, and video games is largely responsible for a widespread decline in reading speed (my opinion) – is also the best platform to learn how to speed read.
Read that Ace Reader review and see if it seems right for you – it worked for me and others as a supplement to my other efforts to improve my reading speed and skill.
How to learn speed reading without practice:
I’m joking. Of course you can’t learn speed reading without practice; lots of reading experience is probably the most important distinguishing factor between those who can speed-read and those who can’t.
Regular daily reading time (I’ll throw the link again for some suggested great book lists) is necessary to solidify your speed reading gains.
Plus, what’s the point of learning to speed read if you don’t put that skill to use?! Don’t try to fool yourself – nothing good ever comes without practice.
If you want to learn how to speed read, one great recipe is 15 minutes of speed-reading software practice combined with 45 minutes of free-reading.
This method will jump-start your reading speed while you enjoy the fruits of your labor – pick a book you’ve always wanted to read, and now it feels more like vacation than homework!
Get yourself over to Amazon.com and spend 10 minutes searching for books by keyword – I 100% guarantee you will find dozens of titles that are interesting to you.
Never forget that reading comprehension is equally as important as reading speed… especially on the SAT! So, if you’re here for SAT prep, please read this article on SAT Reading Comprehension Strategies.
Being able to read more quickly will improve your quality of life in innumerable ways, so set a goal and get started today!
Check out my review of Ace Reader Speed-Reading training software!