How to Increase Reading Speed

Reading Speed

Struggling with reading for school? Feel like you’re always behind on reading assignments? Try out some of these reading tips to see if they help

Tips for Increasing Reading Speed

The reading section of standardized tests can sometimes be tricky because of how questions are worded, so it helps to know what types of questions to expect. This way, you can anticipate how questions will be asked to avoid any confusion during the test.

Quiet down your “inner monologue”

The process of reading words aloud in your head is called subvocalization. This is how we first learn how to read when we are kids. However, it can slow down your reading speed as an adult because it causes you to only read as fast as you can speak. Getting rid of subvocalization allows you to read and take in information much quicker because you are not slowing down to sound out every word.

Cover up words you’ve already read

As you read, your eyes may naturally want to go back over words you’ve already read. To avoid wasting time re-reading, cover up words already read. 

Read one line a time with the help of a bookmark or index card.

You can also use a bookmark or index card under each line as you read it to help you read one line a time. This can help you from skipping ahead before you’re finished with a sentence or section.

Improve your vocabulary

A wider vocabulary will help you not have to stop or slow down your reading when you encounter unfamiliar words.

Avoid distractions

Try to read somewhere quiet so you can focus solely on the text.

Read more

As with anything, practice helps!

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What is Speed Reading and When to Use it

There is a difference between increasing reading speed and “speed reading”. 

Speed reading is when people train to read as quickly as possible. However, the issue with speed reading is that you can lose out on comprehension and retention in favor of speed. This is why it’s important to know when to use it.

Speed reading is useful when you:

Speed reading can help you learn how to quickly skim through a piece of writing to get what you need from it. (Note: This can be helpful on the SAT reading section when you have to read through passages to answer questions.)

Do NOT use speed reading when you need to understand the text fully.

Speed Reading Tips:

1. Group multiple words together instead of reading words individually.

Start with grouping 3 words together at a time. Read phrases instead of individual words.

2. Use your peripheral vision.

Look at the center of each line and use your peripheral vision to read the words on each side. Go line by line. This cuts down on time spent reading each word individually and will make it easier to skim the page.

3. Know what you want from the text.

Why are you reading the text? Know the information you need from it, so that you can skim through the text for the main points. 

Skimming through a text the first time and then going back to read it fully later can help with comprehension. 

Reading should be fun, so don’t get caught up in how fast you are reading something. Speed reading is not necessary when reading books for pleasure because you want to enjoy what you’re reading! If you feel that you’re struggling with your reading for school, try out some of these tips and see if there are any improvements.

Need more personalized recommendations?

The above tips and recommendations are broad strokes on College Prep. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us for a personal consultation. We look forward to helping you.

About MathTowne

MathTowne is a locally-based tutoring resource. We are here to support students through the key phases of their academic journey: middle school, the transition to high school, all four years of high school, and college preparationOur staff has years of experience in creating personalized lesson plans for all of our students.

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