You are here

Read faster

This is part of the Learning Super Skills feature. Click here to see the original article.


Ah, the ability to speed read. It's a skill that offers a variety of benefits. In particular, Abby Marks Beale, founder of Rev It Up Reading, says, (Speed reading) provides the reading confidence and competence to get through your academic reading workload. Through increased speed, students increase concentration, which in turn supports increased comprehension, and ultimately better and longer retention. Reading becomes less of a chore and takes less time. Speed reading is also a skill that will support you after graduation. Elizabeth Allen, author and founder of Super Fast Guides, says, In the workplace, people are bombarded with written information, such as emails, reports, memos, etc. The quicker people can read and digest the information, the quicker they can act on it, and perform their job effectively.

Overall, speed reading is a skill that students across the nation pay good money to learn, and here you'll learn it within just a few minutes. Get ready!

1. The finger

Your eyes jump left to right as you read through a sentence (a motion called saccades). This is natural, but as you increase your reading speed, this can cause reading missteps which force you to reread sections of text. To help control this eye movement, use your finger (or a pen) to trace under each line as you read. Try doing this while you read as fast as possible.

2. The small skip

As you get used to reading faster with your finger to guide you, begin skipping the first and last few words of each sentence. Everyone has peripheral vision, and this ability works wonders while reading. So when you start a new sentence, skip to the third word and let your peripheral vision automatically read the first two words for you. Do the same at the end of the sentence, where you end on the third word from the last word. Start reading this way, faster and faster, until the process gets easier and easier.

3. Snapshots

Once you're comfortable skipping three words in and out of a sentence, start stretching yourself and read four words in and out, then five. Advanced speed readers only need to take two snapshots of an average sentence to read it fully.

4. Intense practice

As you get better at using your peripheral vision to breeze through your sentences, continue to push yourself. This will heighten your perception of your future reading potential, and it will show you how much faster you read with enough practice. In all, the more actively you practice the steps above, the quicker you'll see the results in your reading speed.