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How To Read Faster

Author: Pencil Case  Date: 22 August 2019

Read faster = Read better

The key to reading more efficiently is to read faster. The faster we read, the more effort we require of our brains and the less likely our brain is to get bored. Easily said but how do we read faster?

Here are 3 tips to reading faster and they are: 1)use your finger, 2)don't read filling words or filling syllables, and 3)don't go back over material you have just read.

Using your finger

Using your finger means that as you read, you skim along the lines of text at a steady pace with your finger. Your finger becomes a guide that your eyes can follow. The finger ensures that your eyes don't become lazy and slow down as it is easy to keep a good pace with you finger moving across the page. Many people complain that their eyes can't keep up with their finger and this may be true in the short run. It will take practice but stick with you finger skimming and it will soon become second nature. Most people will experience a 100% increase in reading speed and efficiency simply by skimming with their finger.

Activity

Re read the passage on the previous page for 60 seconds. This time though use your finger as a guide and skim across the lines of text. At the end of 60 seconds put your finger where you ended.

The passage above contains an average of ten words per line. Count how many lines you read and write the answer here:

I read _____ lines therefore my finger skimming reading speed is ____ x 10 or ____ words per minute.

This is a ____ words per minute increase/decrease from my natural reading speed.

Don't read filling words or filling syllables

This part of the technique means that you should totally ignore words like "the, and, we" these words are used to make writing grammatically correct but do not aid in understanding the content at all and so are not necessary to read. As you read, skip with your finger straight past these words. Filling syllables are also unnecessary to be read as your brain will fill in the gaps for you. If you were to read the line "it is important to understand the fundamentals of senior physics" it would take far too long. Your brain will absorb exactly the same message by reading "important, understand, fundamentals, senior physics."

Activity

Re-read the previous passage for 60 seconds. This time though, use your finger as a guide and skim across the lines of text in addition to skipping filler words and syllables. At the end of 60 seconds put your finger where you ended.

The passage above contains an average of ten words per line. Count how many lines you read and write the answer here:

- I read _____ lines therefore my finger skimming/filler skipping reading speed is ____ x 10 or ____ words per minute.

- This is a ____ words per minute increase/decrease from my natural reading speed.

Note: Because that passage is becoming familiar you will naturally read it faster. Consider taking 10 words off your result.

Don't go back over already read material

Often when people start practicing the skill of speed reading they lose confidence in their ability to absorb and retain the information they are reading and so keep going back over it thus wasting time. It is important that for a first reading of any material you resist the urge to keep re-reading passages as your brain will well and truly cope with the information you are putting in.


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