What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

Speed Reading: Speed Reading for Beginners Made Easy with Step by Step Instructions and Exercises by Calvin Horgan.

With this guide you will be armed with the fundamental knowledge you need to reach readings speeds you never thought possible. You’ll also learn how to avoid making mistakes that could create serious problems with recall and comprehension. Achieve your maximum reading speed and save time every day!

10 Days to Faster Reading: Jump-Start Your Reading Skills with Speed reading by The Princeton.

10 Days to Faster Reading is perfect for students who are looking to improve their study habits, business people looking to make a leap in their productivity, and anyone else who wants to learn how to read effectively.

Speed Reading with the Right Brain: Learn to Read Ideas Instead of Just Words by David Butler.

Reading happens in your brain, not your eyes. That’s why reading speed only increases when you comprehend faster. This book will show you how, by focusing your attention on ideas instead of words.

Speed Reading: Learn to Read a 200+ Page Book in 1 Hour by Kam Knight.

With a few simple shifts, you can double or even triple reading speed in a matter of seconds. No skimming, no scanning, but reading every word with double or triple the speed. Then with the additional tips and exercises, you will gradually raise that level until you are comfortably reading a 200+ page book in 1 hour.

The Evelyn Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program by Stanley D. Frank.

A system that works; a book that keeps selling. Since 1959, the Evelyn Wood Program of Dynamic Learning has been successfully employed by hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, helping them break free of the self-imposed shackles that hinder learning. By teaching us to tap the natural power of the mind, the Evelyn Wood method helps us to dramatically increase reading speed, retain more of what we hear and read, improve comprehension and develop our powers of concentration. In just minutes, you’ll notice a real difference in your reading speed, and in succeeding chapters of this seven-day program you’ll get the secrets of effective note-taking, find tips for instantly improving your writing, and much more.

Triple Your Reading Speed: 4th Edition by Wade E. Cutler.

This fourth edition of Triple Your Reading Speed does just that — with self-quizzes and tests that make it fun and simple to acquire the skills that will give you an edge in school and on the job. The renowned Acceleread Method helps you to break old habits that may be slowing you down, and develop strategies for increased comprehension in less time, with eye exercises to control and expand vision drills for practicing pacing and block reading strategies for mastering the “two-stop” reading method…and more!

Speed Reading For Dummies by Richard Sutz and Peter Weverka.

Want to read faster — and recall more of what you read? This practical, hands-on guide gives you the techniques you need to increase your reading speed and retention, whether you’re reading books, e-mails, magazines, or even technical journals! You’ll find reading aids and plenty of exercises to help you read faster and better comprehend the text.

Remember Everything You Read: The Evelyn Wood 7 Day Speed Reading and Learning Program by Dr Stanley D. Frank.

For the first time the secrets that have made the completely revised Evelyn Wood learning program so effective and popular are revealed. Remember Everything You Read not only teaches you how to increase your reading speed — all the while improving your comprehension — it also features tips and tricks to improve your study habits, more effectively take notes, and write papers, among others. It will become an invaluable resource for students, parents, teachers, and anyone looking to read — and comprehend — in a faster, more efficient manner.

Speed Reading: Third Edition by Tony Buzan

It’s one of the best books about speed reading. Tony Buzan is the world-renowned inventor of Mind Maps and the multi-million copy bestselling author of Head First, Head Strong and The Mind Map Book. He appears regularly on television and lectures all over the world. His work has been published in 100 countries and 30 languages.

Speed Reading: Comprehensive beginners Guide to learn the simple and effective methods of speed reading by Robert Thomson.

Once you have mastered speed reading, learning may come a lot easier. Of course, learning how to speed read is a process in itself. Speed reading doesn’t just mean getting through the text with the quickest possible time, you also have to understand what you have read and recall all of the most important parts. In this book, you will learn all about speed reading. From what it is, how it works, to how you can learn it and make it part of your skill set, there’s a lot for us to cover! By the end of this book, you should have all the information you need to start learning and honing this skill to achieve mastery.

Please add your book list for speed reading training in comments. Thanks. Readlax .

Calculate Reading Speed

Calculate Reading Speed. Speed Reading

How to calculate your reading speed.

If you want to read faster the first thing you should do is calculate reading speed. The reason is you want to be able to track your progress.

In speed reading this is referred to as words per minute or WPM. We need to learn to calculate reading speed and here it is.

How to calculate reading speed:

1. Read for 5 minutes at your normal reading speed

2. Mark the spot where you stopped

3. Count the number of words in the first 5 lines

4. Divide by 5. This gives you the average words per line

5. Count the number of lines you read

6. multiply # of lines you read by average words per line. This is how many words you read

7. Divide this number by 5. That is your words per minute

So that is how you calculate reading speed.

Here is an idea of what a word per minute means:

1 – 100 wpm Children learn to read at this reading speed. This is borderline literacy. There is little understanding and recollection of material read. Reading is very hard work in this range.
100 – 200 wpm This is below average and this person typically does not enjoy reading. It is difficult to read and stay up to date and learn. This person’s comprehension is below 50%
200 – 250 wpm Most likely your reading speed falls in this range. This is the average person’s reading speed. But you are re reading words and subvocalizing words and comprehending only about 50% of what you read
250 – 350 wpm This is slightly above average range and most likely a post high school graduate but the comprehension still is a little more than 50%
350 – 500 wpm This range is well above the average reading speed and probably someone that enjoys reading. The retention is good and usually 50-75%. This is a very good reading speed
500 – 800 wpm This is a very respectable an incredible reading speed. You obviously really enjoy reading and few fall into this high reading speed category. You definitely like the book better than the movie 🙂
800 – 1000 wpm This is a very efficient reading speed. At this reading speed you have no stress or pressure about reading. You understand words and their meaning very easily and probably have had some form of speed reading training. You don’t re read words and rarely subvocalize words.
1000 wpm & faster Wow – awesome! Reading at this speed you have complete control over reading and have mastered. This is an elite reading category. Reading is a huge part of your life and you have complete control over everything in regards to reading

After you have learned to calculate reading speed then you may want to learn to speed read. If you would like to learn HOW to speed read then click here (How to speed read). But I recommend that you figure out your reading speed FIRST before you read this so that you will get an accurate before/after measurement

So this is my advice on calculating your reading speed. I think everyone after they learn simple speed reading techniques should be able to double or triple their reading speed with no problem

Anyone who knows how to read can learn how to speed read books. If you want to acquire this skill, all it takes is some time, energy, and dedication. The key is to know your starting reading time, to limit external distractions, and to focus.

Recommended Post

Understanding the Different Types of Speed Reading Programs

The Benefits of a Speed Reading Course

Important Speed Reading Tips That You Should Know

Speed reading will definitely save you time a help you do everything from read more books faster to get through the newspaper and memos or other items essential to one’s work, school, or personal life. With some time, you can be sure to quickly learn how to speed read.

Use Your Hands

One of the key elements to quickly learn how to speed read is to keep your eye motion steady. If you can focus your eyes on what’s important, then you can keep yourself from spending too much time on words and can stop yourself from rereading things.

Thus, one way to do this is to use your fingers to help you move across and down a block of text. The key to quickly learn how to speed read is to be efficient. Rereading things or dwelling on items for too long adds time to your reading rate. Similarly, it helps to cover up words you have already read with a ruler or piece of paper. This way, your brain is trained to stay on task.

Efficiency is Key

If you want to quickly learn how to speed read, you need to keep yourself from reading out loud. This can add valuable seconds to one’s reading time. Additionally, you should also try to stop yourself from mouthing or sounding out the words. The best way to quickly learn how to speed read is to hum while you read or to count out loud while you do it. This will help you stay on task and read as efficiently as possible.

Consider the Source

One way to quickly learn how to speed read is to choose your reading materials wisely. It helps to practice using a certain number of words: this way, you can be sure if you are or are not making progress.

Additionally, choose a piece of text that you are already familiar with: this will help your brain quickly learn how to speed read because it will have some sense of familiarity with the text. If possible, try enlarging the source material: the bigger the font, the easier it will be for your brain to take in information as quickly as possible.

Consistency is Key

You need to do more than try to gauge yourself once a week: if you want to quickly learn how to speed read, you need to time and practice on a day to day basis. Try committing to practice at least once a day for an hour at a time. Taking breaks between sessions is smart: break every half hour.

Three unique formats…

make it easy to learn…

to read in phrases.

“Visual” Reading

Strengthen your concentration, improve your comprehension, and become truly immersed in your reading, by giving your brain what it craves the most; visual and conceptual images.

With barely a half hour of practice for the next 12 days, you can double your reading speed, while improving comprehension.

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

Mental Focus

You can’t read faster just by pushing your speed, or by doing eye exercises, or by stopping subvocalizing. That’s because what’s sabotaging your reading speed is poor concentration and focus.

Reading without sharply concentrated mental focus is like trying to read with poor eyesight. However, in this case, your eyes may be reading ok — but it’s your “mind’s eye” that cannot properly focus.

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

Reading Phrases

This one trick is the key to reading faster. Phrase-reading is not just reading random word-chunks, but meaningful “idea chunks.”

When you focus your attention on these larger ideas instead of words, the ideas seem to just leap off the page into your mind.

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

Your Own Text

ReadSpeeder includes a library of over 500 practice books, but you can also copy and paste your own text to use as lessons.

This means you can practice with whatever text you were going to read anyway. And teachers; you can use any reading material you think is most appropriate and interesting for your students.

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

Oh yes, and it’s (still) FREE!

Why Free? Because we want to use your experience, progress, and feedback to make ReadSpeeder as effective as possible.

And with over 90,000 registered users, we’ve already had the chance to develop this software into something truly remarkable. but we’re not done yet!.

Haven’t you spent enough time with your old slow, boring reading? It’s time for a change. It’s time to Start Now!

Is it really possible to double your reading speed with this technique?
Yes! And it’s easier to do if you learn how phrase-reading works.

Speed Reading with the Right Brain will show why you have poor comprehension, and why you’ve had difficulty learning to read faster. Discover how your visual and conceptual right hemisphere can be used to turn your reading into a mental movie.

Reviews: “Not really tricks but training your brain to read differently” “This book has totally changed my approach” “You will recall information like a genius” “I loved reading this book” “A book that offered me something totally new” “Has definitely pushed my reading to a higher level” “All ages will benefit” “Totally new concept” “Leads to you experiencing the book, not reading it” “The Real deal” “I could not put the book down” “I’m honestly in the process of reading this book repetitively” “Amazing book. I am definitely reading faster!” “I loved it!” “Far exceeded my expectations” “Increasing both speed and comprehension” “Will change your life” “Makes it so simple” “In a word. Awesome!”
E-BOOK: $6.99 PRINT: $19.99

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it

Anyone can speed read, here’s what you need to know to get started.

Ever meet someone who knows how to speed read and feel like they must be tricking you somehow, or that they possess some extra genes the rest of us just don’t? Although speed reading can seem like a superpower, it’s a skill that can be acquired through practice.

To understand how to speed read, first one must understand what exactly speed reading is. Essentially, speed reading is the process of using a variety of techniques to improve one’s ability to read at a faster pace. (Kind of self-explanatory, right?) We live in a digital world, and with so much information to process daily, being able to take in things quickly can be a valuable time-saver, as well as a way to boost production.

There are three ways people read:

  1. Subvocalization – when the reader sounds out each word internally, reading aloud silently to oneself. This is the slowest type of reading.
  2. Auditory reading – when one hears the words aloud and processes their meaning. A faster process than subvocalization.
  3. Visual reading – this type of reader connects the sight of the word with the meaning, without sounding it out or hearing it. This is the fastest type of reader.

About 250 words per minute (wpm) is the average speed most people read, however, there are those who naturally read faster or slower, and at times, the material being read may have an impact. Reading a 500-page genetics textbook may happen at a slower rate than skimming one’s Twitter feed; some information is of a higher value than others and that can affect focus and comprehension.

Speed reading started to gain attention in the 1950s when Evelyn Nielson Wood, a schoolteacher from Utah, claimed she could read at a rate of 2,700 wpm. Wood said she could read faster if she swept her finger along the line of text as she read, a conclusion she came to after years of research and trying to force herself to read faster. She developed what is known as the Pointer method of speed reading and was an early pioneer and advocate for the benefits of speed reading.

What is speed reading and how to successfully learn it
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Speed Reading Methods

Several tools and techniques can be employed to learn speed reading, and many people use these tools already, although they may not realize it.

The Pointer Method

As mentioned previously, the Pointer method is simple. The reader runs their finger, a card, or another pointing utensil along the line of text they are reading. That’s it. This process encourages the brain to catch up to the finger and increases the speed of reading. This technique is helpful to keep focus, lowers the tendency to skip backward, and is often used when teaching young children to read as it reduces distraction. This is also referred to as hand pacing or meta guiding.


The tracker-and-pacer method is similar to the Pointer method, but with a little variation. A reader will use a writing utensil to underline the words as one reads, keeping their eye above the tip of the pen or pencil.


Skimming is something almost everyone does, at times. This process involves searching the page visually for clues as to what the main idea is. For some readers, this means reading the first, middle, and the last sentence of a paragraph; for others, it means reading the first sentence of every paragraph. Skimming is often used when reading emails, newspapers, text messages, and social media posts.


Scanning involves looking for specific information in the text, often utilizing the pointer method to guide oneself through the text. Looking for certain phrases, graphics, or words can help one read the page faster and pull out the important information, without reading the entire text. Scanning is more involved than skimming, as one is looking for specific meaning and information.


Chunking is the practice of reading chunks, or clusters of words, rather than each word or letter on the page. A single letter will not carry a meaning and a single word cannot convey a concept, but reading groups of words can convey meaning.

Tips for Learning How to Speed Read:

  • Start with something easy: Pick something easy to start with, then increase the difficulty the more comfortable you get with speed reading.
  • Time yourself: To improve reading skills, one must first know how fast they read, so time yourself first to get a baseline, and then regularly after practice to measure improvement.
  • No distractions: Practicing speed reading in a quiet environment. One needs to focus completely on the words in front of them and any distractions will hinder progress.
  • Define your purpose: Why are you reading the text? Is it a piece of literature you are reading for pleasure? Is it a paper you need to pull information out of? Knowing ahead of time what your purpose is for reading something will help you determine the best way and speed to read it.
  • Pre-read or preview the information: When reading a book or paper, there will likely be introductions, prologues, prefaces, headings, table of contents, index, etc.—all of these are important tools. Before speed reading, preview the book and mark important and necessary parts or pages, so that you can find these things easily and know what parts are okay to skip over when reading.
  • Forget about comprehension: When first attempting to speed read, one needs to accept that comprehension is not going to be at the top level. Speed will take priority over that, at first. With practice and focus, more comprehension will come.
  • Use a pointing tool: This is one of the most effective ways to increase reading speed, as well as comprehension and focus. Whether it’s your finger, a ruler, a card, or a pen, use something to help guide your mind and eyes through the page.
  • Do not read aloud to yourself: This will slow you down. Remember, the fastest readers are visual.
  • Train yourself not to re-read: It’s an instinct to want to go back and see what we missed when we know we skipped something, but resist the urge to do this. It will take focus and training to stop your eye from darting back to the start of the page or sentence; we tend to double-check ourselves without even realizing it.
  • Practice: As they say, practice makes perfect, and that applies to speed reading. It will require a lot of practice to master the skill, so don’t give up.

This is not a skill that’s learned overnight; it takes persistence and commitment. These are practices that can aid in neurological function and reading ability, no matter how strong or weak of a reader someone is. Aging, headaches, and deteriorating vision, for example, can have a negative effect on reading speed. Plasticity has several tools available to aid in cognitive function at all times of life and can help boost neurological function in both children and aging adults.

Do you have any tips on speed reading? What methods do you find work best? Let us know in the comments.

The most successful people I know don’t just read—they inhale information.

English: A high stack of books, drawn in Inkscape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s a habit especially prevalent among seasoned investors and serial entrepreneurs: folks who speak in freakishly polished prose, who punctuate their arguments with perfect metaphors, and who can pivot from financial arcana to managerial nuance within a sip of coffee. Folks who think—as one venture capitalist I know recently put it—“at the intersections of things.”

Compared to mere mortals, these human Dyson vacuums manage to fit in what amounts to an entire extra workday’s worth of reading every week. This ability is a big part of what makes them so formidable—the sort you want to do business with, not against.

Have what it takes to keep up? Let’s find out.

According to a speed-reading test sponsored by Staples as part of an e-book promotion (brilliant marketing, by the way), here are the typical speeds at which humans read, and in theory comprehend, at various stages of educational development:

  • Third-grade students = 150 words per minute (wpm)
  • Eight grade students = 250
  • Average college student = 450
  • Average “high level exec” = 575
  • Average college professor = 675
  • Speed readers = 1,500
  • World speed reading champion = 4,700
  • Average adult: 300 wpm

To put those rates in meaningful context, I applied them to the kind of serious reading regimen favored by the super-successful set.

I’m sad to report that, for most of us, the words are winning.

Start with newspapers and blogs. Say you read 20 articles a day, each an average 500 words long. (Newspaper stories tend to run longer, blog posts shorter.) At 300 words per minute (the average-adult speed), you’ll spend 33 minutes a day, including weekends, on that part of your regimen.

But we’re just getting warmed up. Let’s look at magazines (yes, many people still read them). Consider that one page of text in a typical weekly or bimonthly news-and-analysis-style publication (Forbes, The New Yorker, the New York Times magazine, etc.) contains roughly 900 words. Each issue typically runs between 60 and 150 pages. Say each publication is 100 pages long, the ratio of advertising to editorial pages is 50/50, and you think just half of those pages (25) are worth reading. At 300 words a minute, you’ll spend 75 minutes plowing through one magazine. But super-successful types (and those who aspire to be like them) don’t read just one publication. Say the number is more like five, and each comes out once a week. Applying the ratios above, the total reading time over the course of a month comes to 50 minutes a day.

So far we’ve chewed up nearly an hour and a half every day and we haven’t even mentioned books—be it Michael Lewis’ latest financial best seller, the biography of a famous entrepreneur, the random novel (to keep up at cocktail parties), or whatever else happens to be on tap. Continuing the exercise, assume each book contains 100,000 words (a reasonable estimate), and the goal is to read one book a month. At 300 wpm, that comes to another 11 minutes a day. Out of necessity (or masochism), some even might feel the need to consult a fortifying textbook or How-To guide, so we’ll round up the whole book load to 15 minutes a day. That brings the daily total to 98 minutes.

We’re still not done. How about all those emails, texts and LinkedIn discussions (never mind any active engagement with the authors). On the personal-finance side, throw in an investment newsletter or two, to make sure you’re not missing some subtle but important trend.

All in, it’s not hard to imagine, at 300 words per minute, having to set aside at least two hours of reading every day just to keep up—you know, when you’re not doing other stuff like working, eating and spending time with your family.

At 600 wpm (slightly better than a “high-level executive,” according to the Staples test), the daily regimen is still intense, but it effectively adds back an hour of reading time every day—or nearly an entire workday’s worth of reading every week.

That’s not a luxury. That’s what it takes to keep up.

I won’t tell you my speed, but it’s not fast enough. Pruning and prioritizing helps—not every article, chapter, post and comment thread is worth the time—and still the pile keeps rising. If I could read faster and comprehend (let alone enjoy) the words, I surely would.

Maybe I’ll get a book on speed reading.

What does your reading regimen look like? Have any effective speed-reading tricks? Share your thoughts by commenting on this post. We all could use them!

Speed reading is a great skill for getting through your pleasure novels, favorite magazines and website surfing.

Now’s the time to get up to speed with what you read!

I doubled my reading speed while maintaining heightened comprehension and have been able to apply these new skills to even the most technical of business/finance-related material.

This course absolutely met my expectations. It drastically increased my reading speed without losing too much comprehension. At one point during the course, my reading speed got up to 843 wpm, even though this wasn’t my ending wpm count.

I did not know it was possible to increase one’s reading speed. I thought I was stuck at a low level. I went from frustrated to excited and confident about my reading!

When reading for pleasure, some people love to savor and chew every word while others like to speed through the text looking for the action. That’s the beauty of it – there is NO test or responsibility attached to leisure reading and you can read it as you wish! However, when you learn speed reading strategies, you become a more versatile reader now capable of shifting your reading speed according to your purpose. You can also read more of your favorite material in less time! Additionally, you learn how to prioritize your reading based on your personal value and to weed through large amounts of information (both fiction and non-fiction). Becoming a confident speed reader will help you grow your knowledge -base in your personal and professional life. It’s fun to learn how to be a smarter, faster and just plain better reader!

Speed Reading Course Options for Leisure Readers:

Online Training

We offer an easy-to-follow online speed reading course divided into nine, half-hour modules. The course takes a total of about five hours and includes 17 timed reading exercises and the ability to email Abby with any questions at any time. We offer great group discounts for schools, colleges and universities.

How-To Books

Abby Marks Beale is the author of 10 Days to Faster Reading, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speed Reading and Success Skills: Strategies for Study and Lifelong Learning — all available in our store.


Abby creates, designs and personally presents interactive speed reading webinars of varying lengths and topics. Get the personal touch without the cost of in-person training. Most webinars include downloadable handouts.

Today, lots of emphasis is placed on time. Personal and professional life steals a huge portion of our daily schedule, and we are left with very little options, but to find means to do things quickly. One of the activities that have become an inevitable part of our life is reading. It comes handy to people from walks of life. While reading can be great fun, it can turn out to be a highly time consuming activity, especially if you are slow at it. In fact, most people find it a frivolous activity as one is clueless about the amount of time it will take to finish reading a single book.

Studies reveal that an average individual in business reads no faster than what people did nearly 10 decades back. As such, the average reading speed also varies based on an individual’s profession. On a broader spectrum, an adult reads about 250 words per minute on an average. On the other hand, a college student reads about 300 words per minute on an average. The increase in speed is primarily because a student is exposed to more reading activities in comparison to an adult. The increased practice definitely offers an upper edge over here, when it comes to speed reading. It’s estimated that a student spends nearly 4-5 hours a day for reading or studying activities.

That being said, a slow reader will usually read about 150 to 200 words per minute. Well, if you doubt any of these statistics, then you lay your hands on a reading test, which can be taken online as well as offline. There are plenty of websites out there that offers such tests to be taken without paying a dime.

That being said, when we talk about technical contents, the average reading speed is about 50-75 words per minute. This is because we aren’t able to process information smoothly and rapidly enough to grasp the matter quickly.

Talking about the extremes now, few individuals vouch for the fact that they are able to read at a speed of 10000 words to 25000 words per minute, while still being able to understand the subject matter. These numbers are drastically high on all accounts, considering the fact that the average speed is less than one-tenth of this. While these claims are really rare, a championship tournament usually has individuals showcasing speed reading of 1000 to 1200 words per minute. If you are anywhere close to this figure, then you are no less than a champion reader.

Most people do not realize that their reading limitations were set during their childhoods, when they first started learning how to read. While there are no age restrictions when it comes to improving reading speed, those who were able to master this art during their childhood are usually seen taking an advantage.

One of the recent studies have unleashed the fact that English reading rate has taken a hit due to poor education. While this is highly discouraging news, one can always improve their reading speed by regular reading practice.

Table of Contents

  1. The Science of Speed Reading
    1. 1. Scan for Key Words
    2. 2. Skip Ahead
    3. 3. Make it Relatable
    4. 4. Take Notes

Everyone knows how it feels to read a book so good you just can’t put it down–you savor every single word on the page and can recall quotes from the passages by heart. We also know how it feels to read a dry, boring textbook and realize that all of a sudden, you’ve “read” 6 more pages and don’t even recall what it was about.

There’s just one thing that’s different from those two reading scenarios, and that’s enthusiasm. Enthusiasm drives our interest, allows us to focus and absorb more of what we read– leading to the ability to read faster and remember more of the content! It can be hard to be enthusiastic about reading a lot of (often boring) text, which generally takes more time, mental stress and unfocused notes on the subject. This is why we’ve found 4 strategies to change and improve the way you read and recall information.

The Science of Speed Reading

Here are 4 strategies so you can learn how to speed read:

1. Scan for Key Words

Instead of sounding out the letter combinations we put together to make words and reading them all individually, focus on how your eyes move across the page. Focusing on what your eye is seeing will help increase your reading speed. Basically, we want you to scan the content first until your eyes catch on a word or subject that interests you.

We have been taught since day one to read every single word in a sentence and paragraph, but this process is so lengthy and taxing! We really only need to read nouns and adjectives to understand the main idea of a sentence; verbs, adverbs and other parts of speech are usually unnecessary when you’re just trying to get the basic, most important information. This tip can be hard to get used to, but you’ll be doing it all the time once you’ve got it down! Highlighting these key words and phrases is also a great idea for reviewing the text.

2. Skip Ahead

Just read the first and last sentences of a paragraph first. This can save you a lot of time if the first sentence of a paragraph introduces a topic that you already know. You then know not to waste your time reading the paragraph in its entirety and and can move on to the next paragraph.

3. Make it Relatable

Our brain stores every single thing we read, we just don’t know it’s there because most of it goes to our subconscious. Because of this, it can be hard to recall a topic or interesting fact that you’ve read previously. To better retrieve it, we recommend that you relate what you read to something you already know, like a personal experience.

  • When learning about forensic science, you could relate what you learn to a Criminal Minds episode that scared you, or the time you accidentally found some old animal bones on a hiking trip.
  • Back in 5th grade, everything we learned was transformed into an acronym based on what the topic was about, and to be honest, many of these acronyms have followed me into my adult life. Specifically, my 5th grade Science teacher taught us to remember the formula for density (Mass Divided by Volume Equals Density) as Mr. Dutton Vomits Every Day. I realize that this may have not been the best or healthiest example to teach a bunch of fifth graders, but it’s been 11 years and I still know how to calculate density!

4. Take Notes

There’s a condition known as hyperthymestic syndrome that allows those affected to remember absolutely everything they read, see or hear. Unfortunately, it’s an extremely rare condition, so the majority of people out there need some help remembering what we read– and for that, we write! Once you finish reading, we recommend that you go back and take some notes from the keywords and topics you highlighted previously. Including a short summary of the most important information you found– you can review this days or years down the line and be able to recall what the book or passage was about!

We hope these 4 easy tips will increase your enthusiasm for reading and learning! We also hope that now, everything you read will be as fascinating as your favorite book, and that you’ll get more from those academic textbooks you’ve always dreaded.