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Speed Reading Exercises

Mukta Gaikwad Jul 25, 2020

Each one of us needs to read for various purposes. Reading fast saves a lot of time. Here's how to improve your reading speed with simple exercises.
Speed reading is all about increasing the number of words readable in a given eye span without reducing their comprehension. Those who know how to speed read, understand its intricate methods. Speed reading eliminates the process of subvocalization.
Skimming, meta guiding, and schematic processing are the three methods of speed reading. The first one involves visual search for words and clues to grasp the meaning. In the second method, the reader uses a pointer or a pen to move faster from every word to word without losing track.
Lastly, schematic processing uses brain mapping to read faster. Here the reader uses the existing knowledge to grasp familiar words and concepts to speed read.

Know What You Read

Select a subject that you know well or fairly well. Since you know this topic well, you won't have to spend hours and hours on comprehension. You may come across incomprehensible words. Underline them and move on. Do not get stuck at a sentence. Highlight it and figure it out later. For now it's about focusing on your speed.

Technical Changes

If you are a total newcomer to the world of reading, you will have to make a few technical changes. Just as children learn to read, letter-by-letter and word-by-word, you too will have to begin the same way. Apply the basics of meta guiding while doing so.
Over a period of a week or two, you will begin reading words in a block or a line without losing track. Sometimes you may have to go to the previous line or block of letters. Don't be disheartened, but go back if you have to as understanding is also important.


Once you can read a page without going back to the previously read lines, use a timer to note the time. Every time you read, select a different article.
Reading the same article over and over again won't help. The average speed must be about 150 - 200 wpm (words per minute). Thus, you must read about 2 words per second. Once you reach this speed, enhancing it will be easier. Consistent practice will help you get to such a speed.

Enhancing Reading Speed

Speed reading exercises are not only meant to teach you how to read swiftly, but to get better than that too. They say, practice makes you perfect, and trust me, it does. Reading everyday, increasing your vocabulary, and your concentration are the three main factors of speed reading.
Reading newspapers, every billboard, every traffic sign, journals, magazines, books, and just constant reading will help you attain an efficient reading speed. The best way of improving reading speed is to use a pointer to read quickly.
Reading is a great way of escaping the realities of this world by getting engaged in a world of imagination. Reading permits the reader to travel, see wonderful places, experience some of the thought provoking and heart rending moments of life, and above all it sculpts the reader's mind for a broader perspective.
Hopefully, these exercises will help you read faster, better, and for the better. As Charles W Eliot put it, "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." So here's your chance to make new friends and treasure them for a lifetime.