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Finding A Speed Reading Program

Jun 6, 2008
If you're interested in pursuing a speed reading program, you're in good company. Because of the over abundance of information that we all have to deal with on a daily basis, speed reading is looking increasingly attractive to more and more people. In fact, if you can more than double your current reading speed without losing any comprehension, it could benefit you greatly in many ways. It's no wonder that more and more students and professionals are looking for an effective speed reading program.

In order to take full advantage of a speed reading program, though, it helps to investigate the truth behind all of the claims. This is because some of the claims that speed reading courses make are absolutely incredible and border unbelievable, and might well be too good to be true. Consider the following: When we're reading in order to learn something for comprehension, that is, most of us naturally read at speeds of around 200 - 400 words per minute (wpm), depending on our natural ability and the difficulty level of the text being read. Sometimes, of course, we naturally speed up as we read for longer periods or if we are re-reading certain text.

If someone is reading an article or book for pleasure, and it's not totally important to read all of the words, we automatically slip into another type of reading - sometimes called 'skimming' or 'scanning'. This is just what it sounds like - rather than reading every single word on the page, we skim the information, looking for what we want or what interests us and for certain bits of information. We allow our eyes to travel down the page, and stop on relevant information. This is known as 'lazy' reading, in a sense, but comprehension is still fairly good for most people - about 75%. The average speed for this type of reading is somewhat faster - it can range from anywhere between 400 to 700 wpm.

A speed reading program can teach most people to increase their reading speed significantly above and beyond their current speed of 'skimming' text. The next thing that most people wonder about is how much speed can be increased - and this is where it can get really confusing! Some speed reading programs offer a moderate increase in speed - to about 1000 wpm. This seems reasonable and achievable by most; what these programs are doing is teaching you to skim more efficiently. They do this by using a pacer to keep your eyes moving across the page, or by teaching you to read using your peripheral vision which allows people to see a large chunck of text at a time and memorizing it all.

However, there are many other speed reading programs that exceed these claims quite dramatically - some even claim that they can teach you to read at the truly amazing speed of up to 10,000 wpm, or even more! Needless to say, experts are sceptical of these claims, though many proponents of speed reading swear that they are true.
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