7 Speed Reading Exercises: How to Double Your Reading Speed
Speed reading is an important skill. It will help you achieve great results in your career and in the study of science. For these lines of work, you need to read a lot of technical and fiction literature. Speed reading will help you absorb large amounts of information effectively and quickly.
There are many techniques for studying speed reading. Each technique can be suitable, depending on the person. It is difficult to say which one is right for you. The simplest speed reading exercises are a few exercises that you need to repeat to consolidate the result. It may remind you of learning to type on a keyboard without looking. 15-20 minutes a day for two weeks is enough to increase reading speed by 20-30%. It's impressive.
Hundreds years ago, a person was considered educated if he simply knew how to read. Now this is not enough. There is more and more information, so you need to read quickly without losing meaning.
Probably, many can recognize themselves in the description: you read a book for several months, finally you finish it, but you realize that you forgot 80% of the information. All this is because no one taught us how to read effectively in school.
There is an opinion: the faster you read, the less you understand. In fact, it's the other way around. Many famous people confirm the benefits of speed reading by their example. For example, Honore de Balzac could read a medium-sized novel in 30 minutes. Napoleon Bonaparte read at a rate of 2,000 words per minute.
Speed reading in numbers: the usual pace of readingis measured by reading an average book in 12 hours, whereas a fast pace is 1.5 hours. A person who owns the technique of speed reading, on average, reads a thousand words per minute.
A classic mistake is to go back to a previously read text. When you think that you misunderstood a thought, you go back and re-read a piece of text again.
Checking reading speed
Breathe out and don't worry. You do the checking for yourself, determining what needs to be changed. Ask a friend to note the time, take an unfamiliar text and read quickly and carefully. If you read text from the monitor, «Statistics» in Word will help you count the number of characters.
At the end of the reading you should answer some questions about the text. If the answers match, congratulations, you completed the task, if not, you need additional training. What is fast reading worth without memorizing?
Working Memory Exercises
Many people are convinced that they naturally have a bad memory and nothing can be done about it. But this statement is not true. Memory, like muscles, can be pumped with simple exercises that will suit both adults and children. Within a month of active training you will see noticeable changes in your memory.
It is also desirable to get rid of factors that adversely affect memory:
- little sleep;
- lack of emphasis on incentives;
- negative emotions;
- a lot of alcohol in the blood.
All of them negatively affect you physically and do not allow you to develop memory.
Memory Grid game trains working memory and peripheral vision. How to play? A grid appears on the screen in which the elements are arranged. You have to remember the location of the elements in a limited time. Playtime is also limited. Try to use your peripheral vision to see and remember cells.
Memory Number game trains working memory, both hemispheres of the brain and peripheral vision. How to play? Pay attention to the geometric figure. Numbers are placed around it. Remember the numbers and enter the numbers without spaces in the field, including the value that was shown before the numbers.
These activities will teach you how to read faster. Users of the Readlax platform are already using them with incredible results.
Peripheral Vision Exercises
Peripheral vision is necessary for the perception of objects that are not localized in the center. Normally, peripheral vision has a field of view of 120 degrees. There are many exercises for training peripheral vision. Some of them can be done quickly and easily without disrupting your daily routine.
Thanks to peripheral vision, a person can simultaneously cover and analyze a larger number of objects. By expanding the boundaries of vision, you can quickly navigate the situation. Along with peripheral vision, we also develop thinking, because we force the brain to operate with a large amount of information.
Letter grid game: trains peripheral vision and visual range. With the help of the game, you increase the number of letters that can be recognized without eye movement. How to play? In front is a grid with a highlight in the central part. You need to find all the letters in alphabetical order without looking at them. Use peripheral vision. The letters must be in alphabetical order.
Number Grid game trains visual volume, peripheral vision and the work of the two hemispheres of the brain. How to play? You see the numbers of two colors — black and red. Focus on the middle of the grid and find the red numbers in decreasing order, and only the black ones in ascending order, using peripheral vision. The numbers of each color must be carried out in turn. Hint: Two pairs of numbers equal 13.
Letters and words decoding exercises
Speed reading training can also start with word deciphering games. Bigrams are used in most successful language models for word recognition. There is a scientific connection between speed reading and vertical processing of bigrams in visual word search.
Bigram and Trigram games train to recognize words with peripheral vision. Fast and easy word recognition is a core component of speed reading. You can learn parallel letter recognition. This is the most common word recognition model among psychologists. In this technique, all the letters of a group are perceived simultaneously for word recognition. How to play? Look at the center of the grid and with your peripheral vision find the «bigram» (a combination of two letters).
Word chunking or phrase reading
Word chunking is a general concept that can be applied everywhere: word chunking, phone numbers, ideas and data chunking. This allows for larger units of information that can be processed faster and easier to remember. In speed reading, it is important to learn to read chunks of words.
Readlax provides a phrase (word) chunking highlight reading algorithm. Learning to read chunks of words is a workout that you will practice.
- expand your vision;
- reduction in stoppage of eye fixation;
- focus on nouns and verbs;
- ignoring parasitic words;
- reducing bad reading habits;
- combination of several reading strategies.
Subvocalization is the sounding of words in the process of reading. When you learned to read, there was a need to read aloud. And when you became fluent, you began to pronounce the words in your mind. This is how the habit of subvocalization comes about. A lot of people read like that all their lives. Minimizing this habit means reading faster
A simple speed reading exercise: count to 9 in your head while you read a block of text. If it's too simple try to count from 9 to 1.
Slightly stick out your tongue and pinch its tip with your teeth. Lips should be closed. This will not allow the tongue and lips to move. Gradually, you will get used to reading without having to move your lips. And your reading speed will increase significantly. Do this every time you read, and very soon you will feel that you no longer need to fix the speech apparatus. It is natural for you to read without moving your lips and tongue.
Improve vocabulary, learn new words
Learn new words and concepts — read science fiction and non-fiction books. The choice of literature should begin with the question: «What new words can I learn from this book?».
Here are some tips to help you complete this task faster:
- Get rid of parasitic words;
- Add variety to your reading;
- Learn the meaning of unknown words;
- Chat with people who are different from you;
- Carry a notebook with you;
- Learn a foreign language;
- Write more often;
- Memorize aphorisms, poems, quotes;
- Use cards with difficult words.
- Play word games.
Read every day any book you like
To improve your speed reading, you need to read. Devoting at least 15-30 minutes of reading every day, you will expand your understanding of the world and learn something new. Daily reading slows down aging, improves sleep and inspires. An interesting book of your choice will provide mental relaxation.
Speed reading exercises are designed to train the ability to concentrate, remember and see more than you are used to in your daily practice of reading. Regular workouts for 15-20 minutes a day can bring you noticeable results in just a few weeks. And after a month of training, you can see how the number of books on the “must read” list is steadily decreasing. Play educational games, learn speed reading and become your own life's superhero.
95% of people who read use the elementary analytical method of reading. This is when you slowly and thoughtfully read a book, perhaps stopping in order to parse and reread a difficult part of the plot or google an incomprehensible word.
The remaining 5% use, as a rule, special reading methods, which include inspection and research. Inspection reading is essentially sliding your eyes over a page of text and is something that is often taught in various speed reading courses. Exploratory reading is a way of learning used by scientists and those who want to dive deep into a topic. In exploratory reading, you study several sources at once, take notes, analyze the book and form a brief factual out of it.
We at Readlax recommend putting into practice some of the inspection and research text techniques, even in everyday reading, which will help you better and faster cope with the task and remember the maximum information at the same time. Such methods include:
- Pay attention to the first pages, chapter titles and table of contents. You can read the afterword, or conclusions, which you will find confirmation while reading.
- Read book reviews.
- Keep a notepad handy. Write down the facts you read. This puts what you read into long-term memory. The more notes, the better you will remember.
- Do not rush. Don't run for speed at the expense of reading comprehension.
- Use the 20 page rule. A bad book is one that doesn't grab you right away. How to determine? If the book did not impress in 20 pages, put it off.
- Practice reading skills regularly. Plan to read either early in the morning or late in the evening.
- Switch to e-book. If you're not good at reading, try audiobooks.
Think about how much time you can save if you know how to learn quickly and remember what you read.
It takes the average person 3-5 minutes to read a full page. A «fast» reader needs less than a minute. It turns out that he can easily master 200 pages of a book in 200 minutes, and those who read at a slow pace will have to spend 1000 minutes on the same volume. Difference — 13 hours!
Checking the new reading speed
Now it's time to test your new reading speed. Set a timer for 1 minute and read as fast as you can while still understanding the text. You will be surprised!
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