Speed Reading and Comprehension

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Speed Reading and Comprehension

Many people read slowly and would like to learn how to read faster and comprehend everything they read at the same time. Reading speed can affect many different areas of a person’s life. A slow reader may have trouble finishing tests on time, which can lead to poor grades in high school and college, as well as difficulty at work. Slow readers also tend to get less information from newspapers and websites because they lack the time they need to read these sources. A person who reads slowly may also have problems with reading comprehension, which is the ability to understand and remember the material read.

A slow reader generally reads 200 words a minute or less. A fast reader can usually read 600 words per minute. Normally a person has less comprehension when increasing their reading speed, but this is not always true. There is a type of reading strategy known as speed reading that allows people to read as much as 1,000 words per minute, without losing too much comprehension.

Some very slow readers move their lips when they read, this is a type of subvocalization. Another type of subvocalization is done when a reader says the words they read mentally. Subvocalization is reading the words out loud mentally, and limits the speed of a person’s reading to the rate at which they can mentally pronounce the text. If a person can stop subvocalizing, they can read much faster. There are many different books and software programs that can help a person stop subvocalizing when he or she reads.

A big part of increasing comprehension involves choosing the right place and time to read. The speed at which a person reads is likely to decrease significantly if the area is loud and distracting. Reading speed is also likely to slow down dramatically if the person is tired, hungry, or mentally unfocused. Comfort is important when reading, by sitting in a relaxed and comfortable position, a person can focus entirely on the text and read much faster. Oxygen intake is another important factor that many readers are unaware of. By breathing deeply and regularly, a reader can supply his or her body with ample oxygen. This can improve focus, mental clarity, and memory.

Many people do not consider eyesight to be an important part of reading speed. However, this is one of the primary factors that determines a person’s natural reading speed. If the eyes are strained, irritated, or out of focus, it can make reading almost impossible. When attempting to improve reading speed, a person should evaluate any possible eye irritants, and make certain to read in good lighting with minimal glare. This will help him or her focus entirely on what he or she is reading.

Practice is probably the most important element of learning how to read faster and retain information. Reading is a skill that must be practiced in order to improve. When choosing a speed reading course, book, or software program, it is important for a person to choose something that he or she will stick with and use faithfully on a daily basis.