Welcome to our Speed Reading Tips 101 to help you learn to read faster. We share free techniques, material resources and offer free courses to help you become an advanced reader.
Our brief tips consist of basic methods, solutions to common reading problems as well as reading tricks for kids, sleeping tips and software recommendations. If you want to read more about a specific topic please use our menu for navigation.
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1. Getting Started
- Read a comprehensive overview of what speed reading is and how to learn it.
- Watch one of the many good videos if you prefer visual media.
- Listen to a podcast if you are an audio learning person.
- Make yourself familiar with common phrases and terms.
- Test your reading speed to know where you stand and to set your goals.
- Test your comprehension as well. Speed and comprehension act as a pair.
- Research a free or paid course/class/book. Get guidance to structure your new project.
- Consider software to check if online or software learning suits you. There are free and paid software. Try small tools first such as Acclereader or Eyexcercise.
- Best speed reading tip: Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
2. How to increase speed and comprehension
- Preview and skim any material. Skim for trigger phrases, numbers and names.
- Recall the main idea. Set your reading goal.
- Ask questions Who, Where, When, What, Why and How.
- For reading use your hand/finger as a pacing tool.
- Flip page with the hand your are not using for hand pacing. It will speed you up.
- For Web Reading: Check headlines. Scan bullet lists and bold words. Use mouse pacing.
- Learn to read groups of words. Start with two words at a glance, then three, four and five.
- Sum a melody while reading to avoid subvocalization.
- Resist going back in text. Just keep reading. Trust yourself and get back in line.
- Learn common pref- and suffixes to understand words and derive meanings faster.
- Conceptualize and link an image to common words to improve comprehension.
- Improve your vocabulary. Learn new words to improve comprehension.
- Visualize information. Use memory techniques to effectively embody knowledge.
- Utilize mind maps to recall ideas, review content and to create knowledge data bases.
- Affirmations create a positive attitude. Trust in your skills.
- Reduce noise or any distracting impacts.
- Test new skills or stick to new projects for at least 21 days.
- Read everything you come across. Practice techniques daily.
Solutions for Bad Reading Habits
- Apply drills to eliminate subvocalization.
- Learn to read at least 4 words in one fixation.
- Trust yourself and resist regression by keep reading.
3. Consider to practice with software
Learning to speed read is free. All techniques are explained on this website. We include links to free material and information resources if we cannot cover all topics.
Regular training sessions and exercises are the key to improve your reading skills. Software can help to achieve your goals faster and with more accuracy and discipline.
There are free and paid programs in the market. Feel free to ask us if you need advice and which software might fit you. This is a review of the best software to get started.
4. Learn and master the basic techniques
The most popular speed reading tips deal with learning three or four corner techniques.
Skimming and Scanning
Whatever you plan to read, try to skim a text before you fully read it.
You can scan headlines or just fly over the page to get a first feeling for the topic.
In non-fiction books reading the first sentence of each paragraph will give you a great introduction on the most important information.
Set your reading goal by asking yourself what you actually expect from a specific text or book.
By knowing the chapters you can even skim for specific information and skip several paragraphs or pages.
Read full article on Previewing.
Using your index finger to lead your eyes is one of the best fast reading pacing methods. Simply move your finger underneath the lines.
Once being familiar with that technique you may try to use two fingers to lead your eyes. But instead of moving them smoothly along the lines apply two bounces on each line. It is faster and more advanced, but your ability to read word groups will determine how fast you can hop and still grasp the sentence.
Reading Chunks of Words
How do you read and understand phrases containing more than one word?
New York, Rio de Janeiro or Kuala Lumpur.
You usually recognize them as a two or three letter phrase rather than reading the single words the are made of.
Letters hardly transport a meaning or information. Single words already have a meaning. Word phrases carry an idea or concept. Phrases are images. Understanding those images is the key experience behind the technique of learning to read word groups. Each sentence is made of word phrases that contain an idea, often the whole sentence must be read to get its meaning.
Read full article. It’s easy to learn, but certainly needs practicing.
5. Speed reading tips for kids
- Reading tests are not really necessary for kids. Relax and enjoy the fun.
- Easy methods such as hand pacing or previewing are great motivation boosters.
- 15 minutes a day is a good time frame to practice techniques.
- Keep sessions short and catchy, maximum of one hour. The younger the child the shorter the sessions.
- Research books that are suitable for children.
- Think of a smart and inexpensive reward system to keep your child motivated.
- Try to invite/involve friends and kids from the neighborhood. Learning in groups can be very effective.
- Make a plan on what to teach and how to teach. Explain what you want to accomplish.
- Warm-up sessions help to increase focus.
Here’s a good round-up what to include in a session.
6. Exercise and practice regularly
- Start our free 21 Days Challenge.
- Increase your vocabulary by reading something every day.
- Use memory techniques to recall better. More info here.
- Exercise reading chunks of words.
- Exercise visualization skills.
- Exercise to read/skim a book in five minutes
- Start by reading a book or article that you have already read. It will be easier to skip words and keep up a smooth flow if you’re familiar with the material.
- When utilizing your index finger to lead your eyes, start slowly, but at a challenging pace. Keep moving for a page or two and then check your reading comprehension. You will soon be able to move your hand faster and comprehend more.
- Take regular breaks. This way, your comprehension and focus will stay on a high level. Taking breaks also helps to keep your eyes healthy and avoid eye strain.
7. Remember these 4 tips wherever you go
- Scan urban space for word groups. Understand them as one construct. Check signs, ads, layouts.
- Advertisement: Practice reading word phrases by skimming magazines, street or shop ads.
- At the doctor: Preview magazines. Recall ideas. Check ads. Read word groups.
- Check out free web apps to exercise fast reading techniques on mobile devices.
8. Sleep better, read faster
- Have a sleep routine.
- Drink a glass of water before bedtime.
- Avoid heavy meals, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, caffeine before sleeping
- Darken and cool your bed room
- Exercise regularly to have a good night’s sleep.
- A high quality mattress is beneficial to your sleep and well-being.
- Avoid computer/TV consumption at least one hour before bedtime.
- Stress is a concentration and sleep killer. Try to relax your mind!
- Meditation may help falling asleep quickly.
- Progressive muscle relaxation can help prepare for sleep.
- A power nap usually improves focus and concentration.
- Read more about sleeping tips here.
9. Use free tools to apply speed reading tips
- To learn word group reading
- To overcome bad reading habits
- List of 100 most common nouns
- List of common prefixes and suffixes
- Video teaching basic memory techniques
- Try free reading tools
10. Other Tools/Resources/Reading
- The Wikipedia entry.
- Use PDF Booklets to practice word group reading.
- Use the converter to create your own exercises and material.
- Give RSVP readers such as Spreeder a go.
- Use Bookmarklets from Accelareader.
- Try Quickreader on your iOS device.
- Try Evernote or Read it later apps for better organization.
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