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Why You Should Learn Speed Reading Techniques

May 25, 2008
The average person typically reads between 200 to 400 words per minute (wpm) when we are reading for comprehension - that is, when we want to learn and retain the knowledge from what we are reading - and this speeds up to about 400 - 700 wpm when we are simply 'skimming' or 'scanning' which is to get an idea of the text or just to pick out the important bits. These techniques are things that we all naturally use in the course of reading; skimming and scanning consist of moving your eyes down a page, but not reading every word. You get the general idea of what a passage is saying.

Speed reading means reading at a rate that is significantly faster than that of normal skimming and scanning but with more comprehension. With speed reading techniques, most people are able to read up to 1000 wpm or even more. some of the fastest speed readers in the world can read up to as much as ten times that rate, with very good comprehension. Obviously, speed reading can be useful in many ways. So many of us - students and professionals - are inundated with a great volume of reading material every day. If we can get through this material at a significantly higher speed (and without sacrificing comprehension), the benefits are would be great meaning more study in less time. We are able to acheive more and learn more with less effort than we ever thought possible.

The best speed readers are capable of reading at speeds you might find amazing. For example, some can finish a novel or reference book at the bookstore or newsstand, and remember exactly what they have just read afterwards - imagine the money you'd save, as well as time! Reaching these speeds is not out of the question for you, if you find speed reading techniques that work for you. But if you increase your reading speed even by half (which is common and easily achievable) the benefits will be great, particularly if you have to do a lot of reading for school or work. It's also especially useful for students who have an exam the next day, where you can quickly go over all your notes on the bus or in the morning.

Speed reading techniques vary greatly; in fact, they are based on different principles. Many of the techniques are really just accelerated versions of skimming. You are taught to read only part of each word or phrase, which is all you really need much of the time to get the information you really need and your mind will automaticaly fill in the rest. Sometimes this is achieved by using peripheral vision.

Other speed reading techniques, which boast much faster speeds and greater comprehension, work on a different principle. For example, one method (sometimes known as photo reading) engages the sub-conscious or para-conscious mind to mentally 'photograph' whole passages, enabling you to 'read' them without actually reading individual words or phrases at all. Though this claim sounds incredible, many testimonies and tests done on subjects indicate that it's possible and that it works.
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