Average reading is estimated to be between 150 and 250 words per minute (wpm). If speed reading techniques are used, the speed can be increased and between 400 and 700 words per minute can be read. The difference is notable, but the important thing is that the speed of reading also means comprehension of what is read.
Benefits of speed reading
Speed reading has multiple benefits, in addition to using less time, it is achieved greater concentration on reading, learn more information, learn to recognize terms and key ideas. Speed reading also improves the ability to associate knowledge that we already have with new concepts.
Our reading speed helps us to read a novel or newspapers in less time, but above all helps when studying and analyzing any type of documentation.
Techniques to read faster
To learn to read faster there are different recommendations. Among the most common tips is to concentrate in what is being done, do not read faster than your comprehension capacity allows you, use different speeds depending on the type of text or paragraph you are dealing with and change techniques according to specific needs.
Improving reading speed is one a matter of practice and technique. You must bear in mind that it is a combination of physical elements (eye movement) and mental elements (the ability to understand). Below we describe some techniques that can be useful to get a quick read:
Use a pointer. Pointing the line with your finger or a pencil to accompany the reading allows have a sharper focus and higher level of concentration. The eyes are fixed on the pointer and avoid line breaks, that is, the reading progresses in a uniform way without so many misgivings or regressions towards previous lines. In addition, as the speed with the finger or the pencil increases, the concentration is greater and the keywords are captured quickly.
Minimize subvocalization. This concept refers to the tendency to mentally pronounce what is read, as if an inner voice were whispering the words of the text. Reducing this habit will allow you to increase your reading speed and comprehension.
Train the physical abilities of the eyes. Perform certain exercises to stimulate visual skills it will help you increase your reading speed. Some of these exercises are moving your gaze through different points at a constant pace or trying to read a phrase or text from a fixed point without moving your eyes.
Orientative reading. This technique is advisable when doing reviews or analyze the general lines of a document. By moving your finger in a zigzag over the text you are looking for those terms that allow you to make a general drawing of the text or, in the case of a review, to remember the most important concepts.
Exploratory reading. It is also called diagonal reading, in which we fly over a text looking for the key concepts. It is similar to zigzag reading, but with this technique skips from paragraph to paragraph, paying attention to the information that you find most interesting. In this way, a general image of the document as a whole is achieved and relevant data obtained.
Messy reading. It’s like scanning a document quickly with your eyes. Review in a disorderly way all those elements that help us define what is addressed in the text. For example, in the case of a book, the back cover, the index, the subtitles, the chapter headings or all those elements that capture our attention at first glance, such as photographs, diagrams, etc., are read. In this way, without reading the text completely, you can have a fairly definite idea about what you are going to find if you read it more carefully.