It is safe to say that the majority of students probably dislike the massive amount of reading they have to do for most courses. It takes a lot of time reading through all the pages and articles, and often only a small part of the information can be used. Well, what if I told you that you could significantly increase your reading speed by using this simple training method? Try it! It only takes 20 minutes and the results are astonishing.
Step 1 • Grab a book and measure your current reading speed
In order to track your progress, you need to find out how fast you are able to read now. Grab a book with about 200 pages. Count how many words are in 10 lines on any page, divide by 10, and multiply by the number of lines on one page. The result is the average amount of words per page. Set a timer for one minute, and start reading. If you have read 1.25 pages within this minute and calculated that every page had 200 words, for example, you have a reading speed of 250 words/minute. The average reading speed for students is between 250 and 300 words/minute.
In order to increase this, it is important to know that people do not read in a straight line but use snapshots in order to scan lines of text. This technique is aimed at improving the accuracy, size, and comprehension of these fixations.
Step 2 • Warming up & learn how to read faster
Now that you know how fast you are currently reading, it is time to improve your reading skills! Use a pen or finger as a guide while reading to prevent you from reading the same sentence twice, and start reading as fast as you can for 2 minutes.
After these 2 minutes, continue reading but now start at the third word from the start of the line and end at the second to last word. For example, start and end at the bold words like this:
“With this technique, you can train your vision to read up to three times as fast. It seems too good to be true, but it is definitely worth a try! The faster you can read, the more time you will have for the other amazing things in life.”
Practice this for three more minutes and try to move the starting and ending words inwards even further. When you can comfortably read lines by cutting three or four words from the sides, it’s time to move to the next step.
Step 3 • Practice, practice, and practice…
Here is where the magic happens. Instead of ‘reading’, try to just take two or three snapshots per line. Look at the third or fourth word from both ends and the centre and try to read like this for 4 minutes.
Then read through 5 pages as fast as possible. Read so fast that you do not really understand what the text says, but make sure that you use the techniques that you just learned. After these 5 pages, slow down to a reading speed that allows you to fully understand the text. It will probably feel incredibly slow, but this is the same principle as the difference between driving 70 km/h normally, or 70 km/h when you just left the highway.
Step 4 • Check the results!
Repeat the test in step one to find out your new, probably improved reading speed. Repeat these steps from time to time to keep improving and to save even more time. Once you are able to read 1.155 words per minute, you are part of the 1% fastest readers in the world!
This technique comes from Tim Ferriss’ books and blogs, so all credits go to him. Via this link you can read more about this subject.
Did you get great results? We would love to hear! Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and share this with everybody who could use some more spare time. Do you want to cut even more time studying? Check out last year’s blog on how to improve your productivity and concentration right here!