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How to master speed reading


Stop saying the words to yourself. Almost every reader mentally utters the text (subvocalization) or is distracted by repeating a word. This helps the reader remember the terms, but it also slows down reading speed. Here are some ways to minimize this habit:
Chew gum or hum while reading. This will occupy the muscles used for subvocalization. If you move your lips while reading, press them down with your finger. Close the words you have already read. When reading, your eyes often return to the words you have already read. These are mostly short-term movements that do not improve comprehension in any way. Use a bookmark to close the words after reading them, weaning yourself from this habit. These "back jumps" also occur when you fail to comprehend material. If your eyes jump back a few words or lines, it's a sign that you should slow down. Let's move on to eye movement. As you read, your eyes move jerkily, stopping at some words and skipping others. Reading only happens when your eyes stop. If you reduce the amount of movement per line of text, you will learn to read much faster. But be careful--there have been studies that have found a limit to what a reader can see at a time.
You can read eight letters to the right of your eye position, but only four to the left. That's about two or three words at a time. You notice letters 9 to 15 spacing to the right, but are unable to read them. Regular readers cannot read words on other lines. Learning to skip lines and still understand the material is extremely difficult.

Reduce the amount of movement your eyes make. Your brain usually decides where to move your eyes depending on how long or familiar the next word is. You can read faster if you teach your eyes to move to specific places on the page instead. Try the following exercise:
Take a bookmark and place it over a line of text. Draw an "X" on the bookmark over the first word. Draw another X on the same line. Place it three words farther away for good comprehension, five words for simple texts, and seven words to review key points. Continue drawing X's at the same interval until you reach the end of the line.
Try to read the line as quickly as possible, putting the bookmark down and concentrating only on the text under each "X" sign. Read faster than you can understand the text. Many programs are built on the principle of building up reading speed with reflexes, so that the brain gradually learns to adjust to a new pace. This method has not been thoroughly studied. Your speed of moving through the text will undoubtedly increase, but you will understand little or nothing at all. Try this method if you're aiming for maximum reading speed, and hope that a few days of practice will help you understand the material better. Here's how to do it:
Follow the text with a pencil. Come up with a word combination that will take you exactly one line of text to say at a quiet pace. Try reading for two minutes at a pencil speed. Even if you don't understand anything, concentrate on the text and don't stop your eyes for the full two minutes. Rest for a minute and then speed up. Now try reading for three minutes, but now the pencil should cross two lines as you say the phrase.

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