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Increasing Your Reading Speed Drastically!

Reducing Fixation Time for Speed Reading
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The minimum length of time needed for a fixation should only be a quarter of a second. By pushing yourself to minimize the time you
take until you reach such rate, you will get better at picking up information from very brief and few fixations. This is a matter of practice and confidence.

Relationship between Rate of Reading and Comprehension
Research shows that there is a big relationship between rate and comprehension. Some people read rapidly and comprehend well; others read slowly and comprehend badly. Thus, there is some reason to believe that the factors producing slow reading are also involved in lowered comprehension.

Good comprehension depends on whether you can extract and retain the important ideas that youve read, not on how fast you read them. If you can do this fast, then your reading speed can be increased. If you pair fast-reading with worrying about comprehension, your reading speed will drop because the mind is occupied with your fears; hence, you will not be paying attention to the ideas that you are reading.

However, if you concentrate on the purpose of reading (locating main ideas and finding answers to your questions), your speed and comprehension should increase. Your concern should be not with how fast you can get through a chapter alone, but with how quickly you can comprehend the facts and ideas that you need.

Comprehension during speed reading is easier than during standard reading. This is because the mind is busy looking for meaning, not rereading words and sentences. The average reader spends about 1/6th of the time rereading words than actually reading them.

Rereading interrupts the flow of comprehension and slows down the process, thats why the habit of rereading should be eliminated.

How to comprehend easily? Scan the chapter first. Identify the sections to which the author devotes the most amount of space. If there are lots of diagrams for a particular topic, then that must also be an important concept. If you’re really under time pressure, you can skip the sections to which the least amount of space is devoted.

Take note on headings and read the first sentence of every paragraph more carefully than the rest of the paragraph. The main idea is usually situated there. Read the important parts and the main ideas. Focus on nouns and main propositions in each sentence. Look for the noun-verb combinations, and focus the mind on these. Then, close the book and ask yourself what you now know about the subject that you didn’t know before you started.

Reducing Skip Backs

Important: Don’t reread the same phrases from the text!

Poor readers read and reread the same phrase over and over again. This habit of making “regressions” doubles, or worse triples, reading time and often does not even result in better comprehension. A single careful, attentive speed reading may not be always enough for completely comprehending the matter you are reading, but is often more effective than constant regressions in the middle rate of a reading. It is best to work on paying closer attention and doing a preview first before the careful reading.

To help reduce the number of times that the eyes go back to a previous word or sentence, run a pointer along the line as you read. This could be a finger, a pen, or any pointed material. Your eyes will follow the tip of your pointer, smoothing the flow of speed reading. The speed at which you read using this method will largely depend on the speed at which you move the pointer; so if you want to speed up your reading, you also have to increase your pointing rate.

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Five Types of Reading

An efficient reader adjusts his speed and strategy to suit the need of the moment. The 5 types of reading are classified into:
1. Skimming

Skimming refers to reading quickly to gain a general impression as to whether the text is of use to you. You are not necessarily searching for a specific item because it only provides an overview of the text.

Skimming is somewhat like reading the morning newspaper. You dont actually start at the top left corner and read every article on every page. You read the headlines, reject many of the articles that you dont find relevant, and read only those that interests you, sometimes in a hit and miss fashion reading the headline, the first paragraph, skipping down to check out the names of the people.

Why Should I Skim?
Contents of most reading materials are not all important and relevant. Some of them are simple supporting details in which absence of them still makes the text complete. In other words, they are only trash. You wouldnt waste your time reading the trash at all, would you? The important items may be skimmed and earmarked for later reading. The critical ones may be skimmed to confirm that they are really critical. What is left in the really critical stack will demand intensity. Even then, you may want to skim each one before you read in detail.

Skimming on a regular basis develops your ability to learn this strategy. It also improves other reading rates such as for studying and for average reading. It builds your knowledge and vocabulary base so you have the background to rapidly absorb these ideas as they appear in other context.

How to Skim
1. Read the title. This focuses your attention on the topic.
2. Read the introduction. This may be the first paragraph or two. It usually describes, in general, what the entire selection will be about.
3. Read the first sentence in each paragraph. Often, as many as 80% of the paragraphs start with a summary or topic sentence. The rest of the sentences in the paragraph simply elaborate. You may skip the elaboration unless it is obviously necessary, such as the definition of a very important term. When you skim, you really are only looking for general ideas.
4. Read the conclusion. This may be the last paragraph or two. It usually summarizes the article, specifies an opinion, or makes some recommendations based on the general content.
5. Test your comprehension. Look away from the article and tell yourself in a sentence or two what the entire article was about.
2. Scanning

When youre looking, say for instance a car service phone number in the telephone directory, you don’t read every listing, do you?

Instead, you skip over a lot of unrelated information and scan for a visual image of the name of the company on the relevant page. It is like looking for a friend at the basketball game. You do not look at each individual face across every row of seats. Because you have a visual image of your friends face, you scan the audience until you see him. Scanning printed words is similar to this.
Why Should I Scan?
You scan to locate a single fact or a specific bit of information without reading everything in the whole text material, or even in just a chapter. Perhaps you have a list of terms that you know are going to be on the next biology test. You have already encountered them during the lecture in class so while reviewing, you just look up each word in the index, go to the given page number, and scan for just that word. When you find them, you read the sentence in which they appear. If it is not yet clear to you, then you may want to read the entire paragraph.
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How to Scan

1. Flip through the pages to see how the information is organized. It may be alphabetical, chronological, topical categories from most important to least important, or the standard essay format of introduction, body, and conclusion.
2. Turn to the section most likely to contain the specified details.
3. Keep a visual image of the key word in mind.
4. Run your eyes over the material in a search for that keyword visual image. Don’t be tempted to stop and browse. You can do that some other time.
3. Light Reading

Reading for leisure tends to be ‘light’. Thus, the main purpose of the reader in performing this type of reading is when he has ample time in such activity. Light reading is done according to the following:
* Read at a pace that feels comfortable.
* Read while understanding.
* Skim the boring, irrelevant passages.
An average light reading speed is 100-200 words per minute. This form of reading does not generally require detailed concentration.
4. Word by Word Reading
This type of reading is time consuming and demands a high level of concentration. It is done by reading a word after every word. Some materials are not readily understood, so they require slow and careful analytical reading. People use this type of reading for unfamiliar words and concepts, scientific formulas, technical materials, and the like. It can take up to an hour just to read a few paragraphs or chapter of the text.
5. Reading to Study

The main method used in reading to study is called SQ3R. Its aim is to understand the material in some depth. The method involves five simple steps, namely Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review, in which the name came from.
* Survey: skim thoroughly to gain an overview and note key points.
* Question: devise questions you hope the text will answer.
* Read: slowly and carefully.
* Recall: from memory, write down the main points made by the chapter.
* Review: revisit and answer the questions you first raised. Compare these to your recall and establish how well the text has answered them. Fill in any gaps by further reading

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