Speed Reading: How to Read More in Less Time

Speed Reading: how to read more in less time cover
Picture of Florencia Basavilbaso

Florencia Basavilbaso

Content Writer At Gradehacker

Speed reading is a skill that can be helpful in college, and we have speed read tips so you can increase your productivity, save time and start taking advantage of this now!

We know that during college, most of the time, you are reading through books and class content almost non-stop.

Reading takes its time, and especially if there is a concept that you are trying to understand, you need to pay attention and be careful, which makes the process longer than it should be.

And at Gradehacker, after years of experience providing valuable information to our student community, we want to share with you the best strategies to enhance your learning experience.

So, if you are ready to become a great speed reader, let’s start!

Speed Reading: How to Read More in Less Time- first photo

What Does it Mean to Speed Read?

Speed reading is a type of technique and strategy that can help you read and comprehend reading material quickly.

This method of reading involves training your eyes and mind to read at a faster rate and more efficiently by correcting bad reading habits like eye fixation (times your eyes stop) and subvocalization. 

Based on Forbes, an adult’s average reading speed reads 300 words per minute.

However, speed reading techniques can help an average person increase their reading speed to 500, 1000, or even 2000 words per minute if you really dominate this powerful tool.

Reading is an essential skill for personal and professional growth. It can widen your knowledge, stimulate the brain and improve communication, whether for pleasure or work-related purposes.

It is a very effective technique since it can also boost productivity by enabling readers to process more information while reducing reading time. This allows professionals to use the time they save for other activities, such as critical thinking or problem-solving

Speed reading involves different techniques, including:

Which we’ll get deeper into later in the blog. You can combine the speed read tips we are about to give you to maximize the results.

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Tips For Speed Reading

When you implement these essential speed reading techniques, you’ll be able to read faster, as your brain can process and retain information more efficiently. 

Here are some tips you can take in:

1. Eliminate Subvocalization:

Subvocalization is the action of moving your lips or pronouncing words in your mind while reading. This slows you down and reduces your reading speed.

Instead, try to focus on understanding the meaning of the text without moving your lips or speaking silently.

To eliminate subvocalization and improve your reading speed, it’s important to train your brain to focus on the meaning of the text rather than each individual word. 

Ideally, you want to practice silent reading by not mouthing each word as you read.

Try to scan each sentence quickly and develop an understanding of the overall idea while ignoring the individual words.

2. Use Your Peripheral Vision:

Try to widen your field of vision during the reading process.

This will enable you to capture more words per line, which will help you read at a faster pace.

By widening your field of vision, you can take in more words in each line of text, allowing you to read faster without sacrificing comprehension.

To use your peripheral vision effectively, focus on the middle of the page and try to take in as much text as possible without moving your eyes too much.

This technique allows your brain to process and anticipate more words per line and maximizes your visual field, making you eventually a faster reader.

The benefits of using peripheral vision when reading is beyond just going at a faster reading speed. It can also help improve reading comprehension, allowing for a more integrated understanding of the text.

By taking in more information at once, you can better understand the relationships between different pieces of information and connect ideas more easily than an average reader.

3. Practice With a Timer:

Use a timer to track your reading speed and set reading goals for improvement.

Challenge yourself to read faster each time you speed-read!

To practice with a timer, start by choosing a text you know. Set the timer for one minute, and read through the text at your usual steady pace. When the timer goes off, mark where you’ve stopped, and count the number of words you’ve read.

Once you have an understanding of your current reading speed, you can start setting goals for improvement.

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4. Skim and Scan:

Skim the text to get an overview of what it’s about, and scan for specific keywords and phrases that you want to focus on.

When skimming a text, you want to concentrate on reading each paragraph’s headings, subheadings, and first sentences.

This will help you get a general understanding of what the text is about in a shorter period. You can also look at the table of contents, introduction, and conclusion to get an overall idea of the author’s message.

To scan a text, you can use your index finger, a pen, or any pointer method you want to guide your eyes along the lines of text. This can help you quickly identify specific information or important key phrases.

5. Focus on Important Words:

Instead of reading every word, focus on keywords, important phrases, and ideas. This will help you comprehend the text better and speed up your reading pace.

When speed reading, it’s important to focus on a text’s main ideas and keywords.

And we insist; look for words that are repeated or appear in headings and pay attention to the first sentence of each paragraph.

Ignore unimportant words and phrases, and use signposts like “however” or “in summary” to quickly identify the key points. By doing this, you can read faster while still understanding the most important parts of the text.

6. Avoid Distractions:

Turn off your cell phone, television, or any other sources of distraction while reading. This will help you to concentrate better and read faster.

Avoiding distractions is crucial when it comes to speed reading. We all know how easy it is to be distracted these days by the constant flow of social media notifications and activities around us.

And if you can’t leave your devices aside, at least turn-off notifications!

You can follow these speed-read tips to help you out! 

By using these hacks while practicing, you can gradually increase your reading speed and comprehension, ultimately helping you to save time and increase productivity.

And if you are looking for options, we have this awesome list of books where you can start implementing all the steps!

Additional Techniques For Speed Reading

In addition to the speed read tips mentioned above, there are some additional techniques you can use to improve your speed reading skills!

  1. Use a pointer: Use your finger or a pen to guide your eyes along the lines of text. This will help you stay focused and increase your reading speed.
  2. Take short breaks: This will help you process and absorb information better. You’ll maintain focus when reading for extended periods of time.
  3. Establish a routine: Set aside a specific amount of time each day to read. This will help you become more comfortable and familiar with the process.
  4. Read out loud: Reading out loud is a great way to practice speed reading. Plus, it will help you practice your pronunciation!
  5. Set goals: Be realistic about how much you want to read in a certain period.
  6. Test your comprehension: After you finish reading, test yourself to see how much you remember. This will help you identify any areas where you need to improve your skills.

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Common Mistakes to Avoid

When practicing speed reading, it’s important to know what mistakes to avoid to maximize your efficiency and achieve the best results.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when speed reading:

  1. Skipping important information: Overlooking sentences, paragraphs, or even whole sections of a text can lead to missing crucial information needed to understand the text’s main idea.
  2. Not having a clear purpose: Without a goal in mind, you lack motivation or focus, leading to slower reading speeds.
  3. Focusing too much on individual words: Concentrating too much on each word can prevent you from grasping the text’s overall meaning, thereby slowing you down.
  4. Re-reading: Returning to sentences or paragraphs can slow your reading speed, breaking your focus and interrupting your flow.
  5. Subvocalizing: As mentioned earlier, subvocalization or pronouncing words in your mind can slow you down as it forces you to focus on each individual word.
  6. Lack of practice: Like any other skill, speed reading requires regular practice to improve. Without consistency, you may not experience improvements.

Don’t expect to become a master of speed reading on your first try or after your first week. It will take you time, but if you are consistent and really practice it, you’ll see the difference after a while!

But by avoiding these mistakes and implementing all needed speed reading techniques, you’ll improve your reading speed and comprehension while avoiding any possible issues. 

Time to Practice With Our Speed Read Tips- fourth picture

Time to Practice With Our Speed Read Tips

Speed reading is a great tool to help you become a more efficient reader. You can increase your reading speed by utilizing these tips and techniques without sacrificing comprehension.

With some practice, you’ll be able to quickly and effectively consume a large amount of information without becoming overwhelmed or losing focus.

As a result, you’ll be able to take full advantage of the knowledge available to you and accelerate your learning!

And remember that if you need additional help balancing your schedule and meeting college deadlines, we are here to help you in every way possible!

Whether it’s long-time help with all the assignments in your class to aid with a complex essay, we want you to get the best out of your professional and academic opportunities!

You can also check our other articles for more tips and information that will help you improve your learning abilities and upgrade your resources:

Picture of Florencia Basavilbaso

Florencia Basavilbaso

Florencia Basavilbaso is a content creator passioned for writing, music, films, and the arts. At Gradehacker, she helps to improve non-traditional students life’s by finding and providing the most useful information, so they can always progress. You can find her on LinkedIn.