Speed Reading Practice App
I have seen quite a few training tutorials on speed reading, and this article is a summary of my personal experience.
I used the following method to help a classmate increase his reading speed by a third in just 5 minutes. If you’re willing to spend a little more time training, tripling your reading speed shouldn’t be a problem.
The average American reading speed is 200-300 words per minute, or 0.5-1 page per minute, and only 1% can read at 400 words per minute.
The so-called rapid reading (Rapid Reading) is to read at a speed far exceeding the average speed of the crowd, such as 3000 words per minute. There are even very few people who can reach 20,000 words per minute.
Of course, the goal of this article is not as high as 3000 words per minute. After a few training sessions, if your reading speed can stabilize at around 1500 per minute, the purpose of this article has been achieved.
Ready to work
You’ll need the following: a book of 200+ pages (the book will lie flat on a table when opened), a pen, a timer (a phone will do).
Note: You must complete the following training steps in one sitting, which takes about 20 minutes in total.
Minimize the time and number of pauses on each line as much as possible
When reading, do not read in a straight line step by step, but use a saccade to read in a jumping manner. With each glance, the eye pauses briefly or takes a “screenshot” of your field of view in your mind (the “screenshot” area is about a quarter of the field of view created when your eyes are 20 cm away from a book). For those who have not received special training, the time for each pause is 0.25-0.5 seconds.
To get a feel for this method of reading, you can do this: Close one eye, lightly press your finger on the eyelid, and start skipping reading with your other open eye—as you read , your fingers can feel the speed, direction, frequency, etc. of your eyeball movement – this is skip reading.
don’t read back
For people without special training, they spent 30% of their total reading time on reading back. So, consciously avoid back-reading and re-reading.
You must consciously train your eyes and brain to increase your horizontal visual field width and the number of words between each visual pause
When untrained people read, their field of vision is “centered blooming” rather than horizontal. When reading a book, this “central bloom” field of view holds half the number of words less than the horizontal field of view for each eye pause.
Learn speed reading in the following order: ① Learn speed reading skills; ② Accelerate application skills; ③ Use reading comprehension to test learning effects.
Each of the above steps is independent, to ensure good results, you must train in steps. For example, if you’re still learning speed reading skills (stage 1), don’t dwell on reading comprehension (stage 3).
This is a gradual adaptation process, the process is: Skills – Accelerate the use of skills – Reading comprehension test.
The basic principle of training: You train at 3 times the speed of your training target. That is, if your current reading speed is 150 words per minute and your training goal is 450 words per minute, then you need to train at a speed of 900 words per minute.
The learning process is mainly about training these two skills:
1) Visual tracking and eye movement (corresponding to 01 and 02 points above)
2) Expand the horizontal field of view (corresponding to point 03 above)
Step 1: Determine your reading speed benchmark
Open the book you’re training on (the above 200+ page book that will fit flat on a desk), count the total words in 5 lines, then divide by 5 to find the average word count per line.
Then, count the number of lines on 5 pages and divide by 5 to find the average number of lines per page.
Then, multiply the average number of words per line by the average number of lines per page to find the average number of words per page.
Find a line at random, make a mark, then set the timer to 1 minute, and start reading at the same time as the timer starts – you must use your usual reading speed, do not speed up subjectively, and be able to understand the content of the book as the standard.
At the end of one minute, multiply the number of lines you read by the average number of words per line to find your average reading speed (unit: words per minute)
Step 2: Pointers and Tracking
The time wasted on readbacks, jumps, and visual pauses can be shortened by “pointers and traces”.
How important is the “pointer” in the reading process? Recall that when you measured your own average reading speed, number of digits, and number of lines in the previous step, did you count them one by one with your finger or the tip of a pen?
If yes, it shows the important role of “pointer” and “tracking” in reading – with the aid of your finger or pen tip, your eyes can read more accurately and faster.
This “pointer” and “tracking” is closely related to the speed training described in this article.
Now please take a pen, hold the pen in your dominant hand, and underline the text in the book (with the cap on, don’t actually draw it). During the scribing process, focus on the top edge of the cap.
The function of this pen is not only a “pointer”, but also a tool to assist you in “pacer” – with this pen, your eyes can follow the movement of the pen at a constant speed Read – and significantly reduce the number and duration of visual pauses.
1) Training method (2 minutes):
Using the pen as a pointer, focus on the top edge of the nib and follow the nib as you draw the line. (Don’t worry about whether you understand the text in the book when you do this.) Keep the time from the beginning of the line to the end of the line under one second. After each page is drawn, increase the drawing speed. Keep reading like this, making sure to keep each line under one second.
2) Speed training (3 minutes):
Repeat the training steps from the previous step. But this time, cut the scribing time down to 0.5 seconds. When doing this, some people will have the “I TM can’t understand anything at this reading speed” feeling, but don’t worry, it’s normal.
Keep this pace, stick to it, and keep repeating the training method above—your brain is slowly getting used to this pace. The reason for using such a fast speed is that only this fast speed can allow your brain to gradually adapt to the rhythm of speed reading.
Never slow down!
Make sure to stick to it for at least 3 minutes!
Focus on the top edge of the nib!
Let the eyes follow the tip of the pen quickly!
Be sure to concentrate on your practice!
Don’t look at your brain and think about other things!
Step 3: Perceptual Ability Strengthening Training
If you stare at the center of a computer screen, you can still see the edges of the screen out of the corner of your eye. In the same way, if you can strengthen and train your ability to perceive words with peripheral vision, then the reading speed will increase by 300%. Untrained people cannot effectively use their peripheral vision perception ability. When they read, they only use at most 50% of their peripheral vision perception range. 25%-50% of the reading area they see is blank of.
To illustrate this point, let’s assume this sentence: “Chun Mian doesn’t realize the dawn, and hears the birds singing everywhere.” If you can make full use of your peripheral vision, when you read this sentence, your line of sight starts from “feeling” It’s enough to start reading “Wen” (“Spring Sleeping Bu” in front of “Jue” and “Everywhere” after “Wen”) can be swept directly from the corner of the eye, and you don’t need to make your eyes “read” deliberately). In this way, although the sentence has 10 words, you actually only “read” 5 – this almost doubles your reading speed – you feel it, is it strong?
Peripheral reading is easy to train, and with the “pointer” and “tracking” you just learned, it is quite easy to improve your reading speed.
1) Training method (1 minute):
Using the “pointer” and “tracking” methods mentioned above, the eye traces the line with the tip of the pen and reads at a speed of 1 line/second. But add an additional condition: the eye “reads” from the second word of each sentence and “reads” until the second-to-last word.
Again: at this stage, don’t worry about your ability to understand the book accurately!
Keep the speed under one second per line, and increase the speed slightly after each page, no longer than one second per line.
2) The second stage of training (1 minute):
Use the “pointer” and “tracking” methods mentioned above to keep reading at the speed of one line per second. This time, however, each sentence is “read” starting with the third word and “reading” to the third-to-last word.
3) Speed training (3 minutes):
To increase the difficulty again: each sentence begins with the “read” of the fourth word, and “reads” to the end of the fourth-to-last word. Also, each line of text must be read within 0.5 seconds.
At this speed, some people won’t understand anything in the book, but again, that’s normal.
Maintain this training intensity, only this intensity of training can effectively improve your perceived reaction speed.
Be sure to keep reading at 0.5 seconds per line!
Be sure to stick to it for more than 3 minutes!
Keep your eyes on the top edge of the nib!
Don’t get distracted!
Step 4: Calculate your current reading speed
According to the method in step 1, re-measure your current reading speed.
Note: The speed measurement at this time should be based on “understanding the content of the book”.
Usually, after the first training, your reading speed can be improved by about 30%-50%. Next, you just need to train a few more times regularly, and it’s no problem to increase your reading speed by a factor of three.
Friendly reminder: It is best not to use this speed reading method when reading books in the library, or writing papers, checking literature, etc. In these cases, it is better to read slowly and carefully.