Approximate reading time: 2m 21s
She has a lot of information to read, summarize and present, but the time she has is not much.
In order to complete the task, Maria has to use the so-called "speed reading" technique. What it is, when it is appropriate to use it and what are its advantages and disadvantages, learn in the following lines.
What is speed reading?
Speed reading is the process of quickly identifying and comprehending phrases or sentences from a page of text, rather than the traditional identification of individual words.
The amount of information we process grows every day - emails, reports, websites, social networks, books, magazines. Quite often we feel the strain of not being able to review all the information faster to keep up with what's going on.
Most people read an average of 250 words per minute, and of course there are exceptions. If you can use the speed reading technique, you will be able to read much more information.
How can you learn to read faster?
All speed reading techniques have one thing in common: You avoid pronouncing and "hearing" every word in your head as you read, a process known as "sub-vocalization." Instead, you read the lines or group of words fluently as you can understand the words faster instead of pronouncing them.
One way to end sub-vocalization is to focus on blocks of words instead of individual words. You can achieve this by relaxing and widening your gaze across the page to stop seeing the words as individual units. By practicing this, your eyes will learn to scan the page faster.
As you approach the end of the line, allow your peripheral vision to pay attention to the last words. This will help you stop pausing while you read, and you'll start moving on to the next line more quickly.
When to use the speed reading technique?
Effective speed reading is a balance between speed and comprehension. According to studies, the faster you read, the less information you absorb - especially when it comes to remembering details.
Therefore, speed reading is not a good option when absorbing complex legal or technical documents, even if you are pressed for time. You would be wise to slow down if the material you are reading is unfamiliar to you, or when you need to explain it to someone else.
In cases where you need to understand the main arguments or conclusions, speed reading can be helpful.
In short, if you want to remember something, you should read slowly - under 100 words per minute. The normal pace for learning is 100-200 words per minute, and for good comprehension, 200-400 words per minute.
Speed reading is usually characterized by reading 400-700 words per minute. A pace above 500-600 words per minute means that comprehension of the material read will be weaker, although this may vary from person to person.
How can you improve your speed reading?
- Avoid things that distract you. Create a low-interruption environment so you can focus on the words.
- Start by reading easy to assimilate novels or online articles. Pay attention to how much you've memorized or understood, and detect how quickly you're reading.
- Hide the words you've already read. This will prevent your eyes from going back to the words you've already gone over.
- Mark your progress. This will help you know if your exercises are working.
To improve your speed reading, you need to practice, as well as learn to focus on the text in front of you, and ignore things that distract you.
It is important to find the balance between speed and comprehension: sometimes speed reading is not appropriate or helpful.
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