How to speed read

How to speed read

300 pages left to read and your final exam is tomorrow? Don’t panic! You can get through it with some basic speed-reading skills:


Stop talking to yourself

Reading out loud, saying every word to yourself will slow you down because you can only read as fast as you talk. To stop doing it, read faster than your mouth can move or the voice in your head can speak. 


Finger it

After reading a word, some people will read the next two or three then their eyes will jump back to the beginning. If that’s something you do, use your index finger to underline the text faster than you normally read.


Use your peripherals

Your brain can understand more than one word at a time. That’s why a big part of speed reading is reading several words, not one by one. To do this, try speed reading with newspapers: The standard columns are only about 5-6 words across, which is an ideal word count for you to practice reading line by line instead of word by word.  


Catch Zs

Reading linearly is for basics. You can actually take in information by using something called the z method: Read Line 1 normally from left to right. When you get to end of that line, sweep your eyes diagonally, from right to left, to the beginning of Line 3. Repeat the same pattern down the page. 


Get to the point

You can still understand text without words like “the”, “a”, or “an”, so skip articles and filler words. Look for the important stuff by having a  general idea of what’s being said in the content you’re reading. That should prepare your mind to sift through unecessary words to get to things you need to know. 

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