We are back with another Lesson on our Speed Reading Series.
In this article, we are going to talk about some drills which can help you to start improving your reading speed.
We will start with very basic drills that will help you to boost your reading speed. The best thing about this drill is that it can be done on paper or digitally.
How to prepare for this Drill?
To get started with this drill I would suggest using material that you normally have to read. It can be anything for eg, School, work, or personal reading.
How much time is required?
The whole drill will be completed in 30 mins and it is been divided into two sections.
The first section will be of 20 mins and second will be of 10 mins.
How to Perform this Drill?
The drill is really simple and in this drill, we’ll be reading for 20 minutes so its required that should have enough reading material for that amount of time.
Here’s how the drill works:
First of all, you have to start reading for 20 minutes and during this time you’ll make sure that you have to read with the goal of strong comprehension.
Don’t go too fast or too slow. Read at whatever speed feels comfortable.
Secondly: After you finish reading for 20 minutes, you have to mark the place where you stopped.
The Drill is designed with a goal to purposely go faster our normal reading speed.
How are we gonna do that?
Well, we simply have to re-read the material which we just finished reading but this time we are going to do it with double reading speed. So, first of all, you read the material for 20 minutes and in the next step, you should read that same material in 10 minutes or less. The whole idea behind this drill is to get used to seeing words at a faster rate.
Benefits of This Drill
The foremost thing about this drill is that we are skimming our reading material with double reading speed as compared to our normal reading speed.
Why does this drill work?
After you get used to practicing this drill, where you purposely read faster than your normal reading speed, and then again when you drop your reading speed down to a reasonable rate, it won’t feel as fast.
For example, let’s say you normally read at 200 words per minute, which is average reading speed. When you practice a drill, like the one we just discussed, you are simply forcing yourself to go through the reading material at a speed of 400 words per minute or more.
And the best thing is that after practicing this drill when you go back to your normal reading speed for strong comprehension, you’ll straight away notice that even the speed of 250 words a minute, won’t feel as fast and you can still maintain your comprehension.
How to improvise this Drill?
The moment you start reading comfortably with strong comprehension at 250 words a minute, that means its time to increase your speed and start practicing this drill at 500 words a minute. So, later on, 300 won’t feel as fast. The easiest and the best way to ensure you are actually doubling your reading speed is to read for a period of time, say 30 minutes, and then go through that same material in half the time, say 15 minutes if you’re reading for 30.
How Long you should practice this drill?
By the way, this drill has a dual benefit. By skimming through the material you already read, you’re essentially reviewing what you just read and this will help you remember the material a little more effectively in addition to helping you improve your reading speed. I would suggest you should practice tice this kind of drill repetitively over time for the best results. And I’d strongly recommend practicing this drill every day for two weeks. Here’s how you can practice: Read for 20 minutes and then speed through the material you just read in 10 minutes and then repeat. Read for another 20 minutes and then speed through that material in 10 minutes.
- These drills will help you make gradual and consistent increases in your reading speed.
- To keep track of your results I recommend you measure your reading speed on a daily basis to take note of your progress.
- To test your reading speed just read for a minute and count how many words you read during that time to figure out your words per minute reading rate.
We’ll cover a number of other reading exercises and techniques in this series but this is one of the fundamental speed reading drills that you can practice right now to start increasing your reading rate immediately.