How to Increase your Reading Speed by 200%
The vast majority of my students want to be able to read faster and to skim. It’s not just the strong students who want the secret of leaping through lengthy AP school assignments. All students feel trapped by the length of the ACT reading, and wonder if skimming could help.
So how can you increase your reading speed in just 20 minutes, by at least 200%? Tim Ferriss, N.Y. Times Bestselling author of The Four Hour Work Week, gives a simple but effective way to boost your reading speed. With Ferriss’ permission, I’ve reproduced his method.
1. Two Minutes: Using a pen or finger, trace under each line as you read as fast as possible. Reading is a series of jumping snap shots called saccades, and using a visual guide (pen/finger) prevents regression.
2. Three Minutes: Begin each line focusing on the third word in from the first word, and end each line focusing on the third word in from the last word. This makes use of the peripheral vision, which is wasted in margins. For instance, even the highlighted words in the next line are your beginning and ending focal points, the entire sentence is “read,” just with less eye movement.
In this sentence, you would only focus on the third word in from the first which is “a” and the third word in from the last which is “decided”. The remaining words would be picked up by your peripheral vision.
Don’t underestimate how much you can read via your your peripheral scope.
Ex: “Once upon a time, an information addict decided to detox.”
3. Two Minutes: Once comfortable indenting 3-4 words from both sides, attempt to take only two snapshots per line on the first and last indented words. Practice doing this for at least two minutes.
4. Three Minutes: Practice reading too fast for comprehension but with good technique (the above three techniques) for five pages prior to reading at a comfortable speed. This will heighten perception and reset your speed limit, much like how 50 mph normally feels fast but seems like slow motion if you drop down from 70 mph on the freeway.
Finally, speedometer your reading. You can calculate your reading speed by counting the number of pages read in one minute. If you initially started at 1.25 pages/minute, and then read 3.5 pages/minute after training, that’s a 280% increase in speed.
Try it and let me know at this site if it works!