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10 effective ways to speed your reading speed

reading While preparing for JEE exams, the dearth of one thing that haunts the students the most is ‘TIME’. Because of the hectic life (like going to school and attending varied tuition classes/ coaching classes); it is very difficult for students to find enough of preparation time. Some times this happens, in-spite of students making a proper time table and following it dedicatedly; they do not get enough time for revision and practice. Thus, it becomes every important for these students (for that matter of fact for any student) to be able to read faster and comprehend what is required.

The art of the reading faster and comprehending what is required and skipping what is not important is known as skimming. You might have heard this word, as it very commonly used by authors and the editors. This concept state that read whatever is important, retain it and skip whatever is of no importance. Following this practice while studying, will not only help students to study faster, but will also help in retaining more and the only the important concepts that are required. I understand the value of time for these students, thus have jotted important points that will help them to get more time and better practice for tough exams like IIT JEE, NEET (AIPMT) etc.

Word by Word:

Word by WordSince our childhood, we are taught to read each word and pay attention to it. I do not say that this is a wrong habit, but not suitable for the time when you need to focus on concepts. Thus the first way to reduce you time in reading is do not read word by word. This is time consuming; or rather it would be appropriate to say that it is inefficient way for reading (especially when preparing for JEE).

The best practice would be to skim, jot the main points down, makes notes and move to the next topic or chapter. One this will save your time, two you will have quick notes to refer to and three you will be able to retain more. Our Brain is capable enough to fill the words and make sense out of the keywords read. So when you skip the connecting words or fillers, our brain will make out sense with the main words in sentence. Thus, do not read word by word and skip the unwanted words.

Oversee your Reading Pile:

BooksMost of us are referring to many books while preparing for JEE or any entrance exams. We collect many books, notes or study materials for our reference; and waste time in understanding which to refer when and how. Thus, the next step to faster reading should be editing or overseeing the reference material. 

Have clarity on what exactly you are looking at, in terms of queries and concepts and then select your guide or study material accordingly.Set your goals in terms of your study plans and then choose the material which is more comforting for you (the one that is easy to understand and which covers all the topics). This will help you in reading faster (since, the book is not tough for you to be understood) and will save your time.

Focus on Key Points

Each chapter or topic will have certain main keywords or key concepts that you would need to study or by-heart. So whenever you come across these topics or key points, study only those areas of paragraph that covers these topics. This will reduce your reading time by almost 40 percent.

Reading Aloud

Reading AloudReading Aloud while studying is one of the habits that we have been taught since our childhood. There is no doubt about the fact that this habit is very good when it comes to studying. When you speak the words and hear it, this is known as sub-vocalizing; and it does affect your reading skills adversely. This method only allows you to speak the words as fast you can (we think we speak or recite them faster, but in reality we are slow) and does not help in retaining what you have studied. Also, it might look that you are reading faster and saving time; but this is not the case. Thus, one should give up the habit of reading aloud while studying. If you are in a habit of studying this way, please try to get rid of this practice as soon as possible.

Eye Movement

Eye MovementTry to read with your eyes. Relax your gaze and try reading four or five words at a time. Our eyes and brain both can focus on more than one word at a time. So try to read the entire sentence with your eyes and do a quick reading. This will help in ‘speedofying’ your reading speed.

Eradicate Regression

RegressionWhen I say that try eradicating regression; I mean that try and stop the habit of reading the same lines over and over again. Whether you read the same line again and again intentionally or unintentionally; this increases you reading time. Thus it is better to stop this practice right away (Until you follow this habit, in case where you have not understood the sentence of meaning completely. But again, one sentence should not be read more than two times. As if you have not understood the sentence or the context in spite of utter concentration, then reading it for fourth time will also not help).

This might happen when you get distracted and you lose the track of what you were reading. So to overcome this problem, keep a card or use your finger or a pen while reading. This will help you in being on track and not losing the focus.

Avoid Distractions

DistractionsWhenever you are trying to read, do it in a peaceful and quite environment. Most of the students are not able to concentrate while reading or read slowly; as they try to read in an inappropriate environment. If you want to be an efficient reader and save your time the try to avoid all kind of distractions; whether they are internal or external. Do not listen to radio, or be on your mobile or in a room where television is working while you are reading. Also, do not let any random thoughts haunt you or do not day dream while reading. This will help you in saving time and you will be able to read faster.

Skip what you know

Skip what you knowIf, while preparing for exams you come across any topic that you already know; then skip it. This is suggested as reading the information or text which you already know will not add any additional value to your understanding. Also, you should not read from the books that you are not comfortable with or you are not able to understand it, as this will waste your valuable time and also will leave you confused.

Know when to stop reading

stop readingIt is important to know the boundaries of reading faster and trying to slow down when something is not understood. It is okay to slow down and re-read the line or the concept that is not understood. While reading, you should know when to stop and slow down the reading process. This means that you should stress more on the important concepts and text which are little difficult to comprehend. After all, there is no point of reading if you do not understand what you have read.

READ First and Last Sentences

READ First and Last SentencesThe last tip or a practical advice would be to read the first and the last lines of the paragraphs first. You will be amazed to see how much information can be extracted by reading only these two lines. Read the entire paragraph only when you have not understood the concept or it is not clear. Otherwise, 70% of the text/ paragraph can be understood only by reading the first and the last line of it.

One last thing that I would like to mention over here is reading and extracting information is an art. Once can master it only by through practice and dedication. So do not try to become a fast reader from initial days. Take some time and start reading books or magazines on daily basis. And when you get habitual of reading, try to increase your speed with the help of above mentioned tips. Happy Reading!!