What to Look for in a Speed Reading Program

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What to Look for in a Speed Reading Program

Thinking about buying a speed reading program? Watch out for programs that make absurd claims. Before you go shopping for software, make sure you know how fast a normal person can expect to read. There are several different factors that can slow down or speed up a person’s reading speed, an effective program will address as many of these as possible. A really good speed reading program will also help you test yourself and track your progress, so you don’t spend more time on your strengths than your weaknesses. Begin your search for the best speed reading software by arming yourself with information.

How fast can a person read? If you’re slow, maybe less than 200 words in a minute. An average-length paragraph on a page of text is about 200 words long. If you are well-educated and a naturally fast reader, you may be able to read more than 600 words in a single minute, that’s three times faster than a slow person. With consistent and rigorous practice, a normal person can learn to read 1,000 words in a single minute. That is an entire page of text. Some really fast readers can read more than 1,000 words per minute. With this knowledge, you should be able to evaluate the honesty and integrity of a speed reading program. Does it advertise reasonable rates? Or does it make outlandish claims of thousands of words and multiple pages read in seconds? Superhuman reading speeds have never been documented by a reliable source. In scientific trials, people who made these types of claims were actually observed to read slower than normal people. Unless you are one of the few highly-gifted people with an unusual brain anomaly, you cannot learn to read a book so fast you can just flip the pages.

Some speed reading programs are pretty specific. There are several different areas that you can improve to increase your reading speed. One of these is your field of vision. With practice you can learn to gradually widen your field of vision so that you can read several words at a time without moving your eyes as much. This is an excellent way to improve your reading speed, but it is not the only way. Try to avoid programs that are so limited in scope. Some people do not need to increase their field of vision. Similarly, avoid programs that focus on the method that involves drawing imaginary shapes on a page with your finger. This is a great way to increase your speed when reading a book. This is not an effective way to read on a computer screen. Unless you have an old glass computer monitor, you can even damage your expensive computer screen with the wrong speed reading system.

Lastly, look for a speed reading program that will meet your needs. A one-size-fits-all course seldom actually fits anybody. A really excellent program will focus on building up your weaknesses and improving your problem areas. If you just do a string of exercises and tests without knowing what your current level is, you will likely spend a long time working below your level.