10 Steps to Speed Reading

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Speed reading will save you tons of time that you can put to better use. Speed reading is a great tool for sifting through large volumes of material to extract the most important points. It’s also an excellent tool to revise work or study additional reading around a subject you enjoy. Speed reading takes months of dedication and time to master, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Today we will discuss a different method of speed reading.

Step 7: Perceptual expansion

This technique makes use of your peripheral vision to read faster. The idea is to focus on a point near the middle of a sentence and be able to read the whole thing. But first, let’s start with baby steps. Get a pen and a book with relatively accessible vocabulary and large print. Place the book open on a desk in a well-lit quiet area. Make sure you are focussed and well rested.

Step 8: One second test

Place the pen on the page one word into the sentence and then again one word from the end of the sentence. Get your eyes to focus not only on the words that the pen is on, but on the surrounding words as well. Give yourself one second to read each sentence before moving onto the next sentence. Do not concern yourself with comprehension; just practice seeing half the sentence a time. Do this for 3 minutes every day until you become adept at seeing the whole sentence.

Step 9: Speed up

Now try placing the pen on the third word from the beginning and end of each sentence and giving yourself only half a second to read the entire sentence. Do this for three minutes every day until you are able to begin comprehending the sentence by recognising the peripheral words. Keep practicing and you will find you become better and better at it. When you are able to read and comprehend the sentence in half a second, you are ready to move on to the final phase.

Step 10: Straight down the middle

Initially you may need to go back to giving yourself a full second to read the whole sentence, but try to focus on the word in the center of the sentence and read the whole line at once. Remember, this takes practice, so set aside 10 or 15 minutes every day to practice your peripheral reading. Soon, you will be able to run your pen or finger down the middle of a page and read the whole thing in a matter of seconds. Continue to practice and time yourself, always striving to improve. When you have mastered the technique, focus on improving comprehension. You should only concern yourself with comprehension once you have mastered the art of seeing the entire sentence by focusing on one word.

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