Racing against the clock? Do you have tons and tons of reading to complete for a college course? Have you considered speed reading your way through your textbooks? In this article, we introduce three different speed-reading techniques to help you read faster and better.
Speed reading is the process of rapidly recognizing phrases and sentences on a page rather than reading word by word. The average college student reads around 200 to 250 words per minute. Speed readers can read double or triple the number of words at the same time.
Here are three different ways to speed up your reading and improve your comprehension.
This method was made popular by Evelyn Nielsen Wood, a schoolteacher from Utah. During the 1950s, she created several world records by reading up to 2700 words per minute (wpm). Her technique was simple but effective–she swept a finger along the lines as she read them. This method later came to be known as the “Pointer Method” for speed reading. Try pointing your finger or holding a card under each line as you read. This helps you focus and improve your reading speeds.
This is also similar to the pointer method. But instead of using a finger, you can use a highlighter or a pen with its cap on. Underline or track each line as you read it. Keep your eyes focused above the tip of the pen. This helps you increase the pace of your reading while focusing on the words. Try to spend less than one second on each line and increase your pacing speed with each line.
Initially, you might find it difficult to understand the information. But once you get the hang of this technique, your comprehension speed will improve automatically.
As the name implies, this method involves scanning the text. You don’t read each line of information. Instead, you skim the text to grasp the important information. Start by moving your eyes from the top to the bottom of the page. Identify keywords and phrases as you skim the text. Look for numbers, names, trigger words, and ideas.
While you won’t read every single word on the page, this method helps you grasp the basic idea. You can then use other study techniques like a mind map to organize the information you have read.
The techniques described above can help you read faster–but will they help you study faster? There are a few studies that state that–the faster you read, the lesser the information you take in. So, speed reading is not the answer for all your study strategies. Let’s say you have an enormous book that you want to skim through. Then, you can use any of the speed-reading techniques mentioned above to grasp the basic information.
However, if you’re trying to learn technical information or understand a complex research paper minutely, then speed reading is not the solution. You’ve got to use other study strategies like taking notes or teaching the topic to someone else.
With that said, it’s quite effective to speed read your notes and study material the first time and then go back and reread important topics more slowly. This gives you the double benefit of completing the material and studying it in depth.
If you’re pushed for time and looking for ways to complete your college assignments, you’ve got other better choices than resorting to speed reading without comprehending the text. Connect with online class takers and ask, “Can you take my online class?” You can get individualized, expert help to complete your assignments on time and improve your grades at affordable prices. Reach out to our team of expert online tutors to know more.