The average adult reads about 200-250wpm.
Really fast readers will be over 700wpm.
President John F. Kennedy read at 1200wpm.
Some prestigious universities, I’m told, even require speed reading courses prior to starting your freshman year.
So how do you get to these speeds, and how at these speeds, can we comprehend what we read?
Don’t speak what you read
Don’t do silent lip movements
Don’t breath what you read
-Speak: Eyes stop at every word. Only read as fast as you can speak.
-Lip movements: Slightly faster. But still stopping on each word until your mind says it.
Some get around this by not moving lips, but reading like a ventriloquist. Often this is because an elementary teacher or parent said to stop moving your mouth when you read.
-Breathing: Breathing out as you read is like inflating a balloon. Do it fast enough for a 40 minute ACT, you’ll pass out.
-Read with your eyes only
-Read in groups of words rather than each word
Create a simple sentence using:
Your sentence would be something like:
In the morning, we're taking a trip to an art museum.
-Keep your eyes moving through the page.
To do this on your own:
-Get a book. Seriously! Go to the library.
For ACT purposes, I like a book with narrow columns about the width of an ACT column.
Start a timer for three minutes.
Using a note card, black out the words from the top of the page down. Slide the card at a rate slightly uncomfortable and keep it moving.
Each time you get comfortable, speed it up.
At the end of three minutes, get up and stretch. Let your eyes rest.
After a brief break of maybe 15-30 seconds, set the timer for two minutes.
Begin reading where you left off without sliding the card.
Keep your eyes moving through the page.
When the timer ends, put your book away.
Do this each day for a week, and see what happens.
Download the YouVersion Bible app. Put it on audio of the English Standard Version (ESV). Increase the speed to 1.25x or whatever is slightly faster than you read. Scroll as he reads. Keep increasing the speed. You’ll quickly learn to read in groups of words and focus on key words. Your comprehension actually increases.
If you don’t want to do all this manually, use our speed reading software speedreading.chadcargill.com.
This software allows you to set your baseline speed and automatically tracks your progress.
How does it work?
You will complete three types of exercises focusing on visualization, word grouping, and eye movement. As you progress, you’ll unlock increased speed levels and eventually work your way to the coveted Ninja badge - 1000 words per minute.
Once you create your account, you’ll establish your baseline speed. After completing a series of exercises, you’ll complete a challenge to see if you’ve mastered the speed. Get the comprehension questions correct, and you’ll jump to the next level.
For each challenge, a passage appears on the screen. We slide a virtual "index card" over the words as you read the passage. Answer the comprehension questions correct, and you unlock the next badge.
1 yr subscription $39
“Using your book and speed reading program, I was able to improve my reading score by 6 points! My last 3 tests, the highest I was able to get was a 25. I got my scores back from the September test and I got a 31 in reading.”
I’d love to connect with you and keep you posted on upcoming episodes and resources. For a free downloadable pdf What Scholarship Committees Look for and How to Win Them, go to scholarships.chadcargill.com, and get your guide now.
For a free downloadable pdf of Key Things You Must Know on Test Day, go to [testday.chadcargill.com](testday.chadcargill.com), and get your guide now.
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If you have questions, leave a comment here or on the Chad Cargill Workshops Facebook page.
To view the workshop calendar, go to calendar.chadcargill.com. You can also order the prep book Chad Cargill's ACT and sign up for speed reading at chadcargill.com. If you are interested in hosting a workshop at your high school, call our office at (405) 454-3233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening to the podcast!