Develop a New Powerful Skill of Speed Reading with this Experimental Test

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Powerful Reading Skills

The following technique is experimental. Results ultimately depend on personal preference and adaptability.


Do not underestimate the potential of your mind. Would you like to know, how to read large volumes of information in short spans of time?

Some experts criticise the conventional form of reading aloud on grounds that it originated only as a tool in formal education to enhance pronunciation. Studies have concluded that while reading aloud, the reader concentrates partially on the information and subconsciously deviates part of the attention to pronunciation.

Reading aloud is not to be condemned or perceived as an illogical method. Vocalisation while reading is a preferred strategy to some who with the aim decode and generate expressions and emotions in written text. Reading aloud facilitates the production of patterns for mnemonics and memorizing information on a short term. This technique is relevant for reading stories, scripts, instilling ideas in listeners etc…

reading-experiment
Source: Mid Lothian Science Festival

For example, try to read the following three paragraphs aloud in under 90 seconds:


Studying adds finesse and perfection to human nature. Experiences in life supplements such honing of nature. A person’s abilities inherited by birth are raw. Only when they are carefully worked upon and honed, the in-born abilities yield the best benefits to us. Studying is the whetstone that we use to sharpen our abilities. But inferences from study may lead to imprecise and misleading conclusions. In such situations, one’s experience in life comes in handy to arrive at the right conclusion. So, experience is very valuable as it supplements studies.

Books of varying content and genre are to be made use of differently. Some may be given a cursory reading, some others can be quickly sifted through. Other important books are to be read slowly and minutely so as to truly fathom the meaning and underlying sense.
Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books, else distilled books are like common distilled waters, flashy things.”

Discussing with others about the contents of a book imparts special practical skills to the reader. Writing removes all the residual weaknesses and ignorance from the person and enables him to remember the contents of a book.
And therefore, if a man write little, he had need have a great memory; if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know that he doth not.


Source of text: "Of Studies" by Sir Francis Bacon

After 20 seconds, ask yourself:

  1. Where you able to complete the three paragraphs
  2. Did you understand the implication of each paragraph
  3. Will you be able to explain the contents of each paragraph to a second person

Now, Try to read the same paragraphs silently, and then ask yourself the same questions.

If you can finish reading in under 90 seconds and answer the three questions, decide whether you think reading aloud or reading silently is a more effective strategy.

To comprehend the contents of study materials that require long term understanding, reading aloud is recommended by most students.

However, an alternative approach to understanding and covering large portions of any written passages effectively is to develop the strategy of speed reading. Speed reading requires time to master, and this method needs to be honed in order to gain its full potential. Practising speed reading enables people to increase their WPM (words per minute) gradually, and the ability to see words as symbols representing information rather than sound or expressions.

The ability to grasp information almost instantaneously, on speed reading develops only through practice.

To summarize, Here are a five tips that will help you master the technique of speed reading:

Read for understanding meanings rather than sound.

Silence your inner reading voice and any attempts to vocalise.

Perceive words.

Concentrate harder while reading (WPM will improve gradually).

Construct thought units in sentences, not in words.

Which one was the easiest one, Reading aloud or Silent reading?

Share your results in the comments below and let us know..

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1 COMMENT

  1. After taking the test, I agree to your point that speed reading is more helpful. It just needs all our attention or eventually it would help in increasing our memory and concentration level.

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