As we progress through our education career, we are met with further demands to read more. This will include reading thicker novels, articles, journals and research material… just to name a few. With this comes the pressure to read a ridiculous amount of material at a faster pace. This can be a serious challenge for many of us, who have not become master guru of speed reading. Here are a few tips to help us increase our reading speed and become guru reader:
Try not to read word-by-word. This process will most certainly slow the reading speed down. Instead try to focus on recognising chunks of words and phrases which convey a meaning.
Limit the finger-pointing at words. Provided you have a good grasp of the vocabulary level being used in the content (this is important), the eye and brain can digest the meaning of groups of words a lot faster than the finger can point to each individual word. Try to get rid of the finger all together when reading, but if this proves to be a challenge, then try using a ruler or a card under each line of text for a period of time, and continue gathering meaning from phrases and chunks of text.
Don't vocalise. Unless you are learning content in preparation for a test, and find that speaking aloud helps you learn (definitely a good way to revise btw), or unless you are proof-reading your work, your lips, mouth and tongue should not move as you read. Vocalisation slows down the reading speed greatly. Aim rather to gather meaning from what you see.
Practise reading for speed everyday. As with exercise, reading improves with practice over time. Set aside a time of the day to read for at least 30 minutes, preferably when you are not tired, with the goal to increase reading speed. Read material which is fairly easy to understand and without challenging vocabulary. Read as rapidly as you can without stopping at words you don’t understand, and aim to simply gather a general understanding of the material. Your comprehension may decrease at first, but this will improve as you continue to practice over time.
Hope this helps with the reading for speed :)