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10 Steps to Speed Reading

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As you get to the higher grades, the volume of work you have to get through in a semester increases exponentially. Speed reading can really help to reduce the time you spend wading through texts. You can sift through the unnecessary information to find the details that you need to know and concentrate on. Speed reading can also be a great asset when reviewing notes before a test. It takes months of practice and perseverance to master, but its well worth the effort.

Step 4: Read in blocks

You probably already do this quite often. If you are racing along on a train or in a car, you are able to decipher roadside advertising by recognizing all the words in a sentence with a single glance. However, since we were all taught to read each word separately, we are inclined to only look at one word at a time. See how many words you can recognize at once by placing your finger under the second or third word in a sentence. Now look at the beginning of the sentence and look away. You will be able to recognize the words because your brain identifies words visually, not by their individual letters. Now put your finger after the fourth word of the next sentence and try again. Keep increasing the number of words so that you can ascertain how many words you are able to read at a glance.

Step 5: Practice makes perfect

Practice reading several words at a glance. You can do this by using your finger to mark off the number of words you know you can read at a glance and then look at them while moving your finger onto the next marker. Progress will be slow at first, but with some practice, you will soon be speeding along. As you practice more, you will be able to read more words with each glance and soon you will be able to read entire sentences. When this happens, you can run your finger down the side of the page from one sentence to another.

Step 6: Set the scene

If you are going to be practicing your speed reading, make sure you have a quiet, well-lit area with plenty of room. Speed reading takes concentration, so there can be no distractions; no music, TV, noisy siblings or mobile phones. Make sure you have plenty of room to lay out your book. Choose a book with a large font and relatively easy to understand vocabulary to start. Place the book slightly further away from you than you would normally and start slowly at first.

Review your progress regularly by taking the online speed reading tests. Remember that speed reading will take some time and plenty of practice to master, so be patient.

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