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What is the average reading speed?

In today’s hyper-competitive world, reading is about as fundamental a skill as there is. In both school and the professional world, being able to read quickly and with good comprehension is essential for success. A person who can read more efficiently and has a higher average reading speed than his or her peers is at a huge advantage.

How Does My Average Reading Speed compare to Other High School and College Students?

The following list gives an overview of average reading speeds among young people. Remember, of course, that these are only averages and that lots of young men and women read both much slower and much quicker. To be a high-achieving student, above average reading skills are exceedingly beneficial, if not downright mandatory.

  • High School Freshman: 200 words per minute
  • High School Senior: 225-250 words per minute
  • College Freshman: 250 words per minute
  • College Senior: 275-300 words per minute

What Are the Advantages of a Faster Reading Speed?

Having a fast reading speed makes nearly everything you do in your academic career easier and more productive. For instance, studying is enhanced because you can quickly scan your notes and textbooks, leaving more time to focus on actually learning the relevant material.

Can I Improve My Reading Speed?


Most of us waste a substantial amount of time going back over words and phrases that we already read. Known as re-tracking, this process is a needless and a fixable reading speed bump. One easy but effective strategy is to trace what you read, word by word, with the tip of your finger or the point of a pencil. Move your tracing implement along at a steady rate and your eyes will naturally tend to keep up.

Sub vocalization.

This is a fancy word to describe the common practice of pronouncing each world in your head as you read. While you may be sitting in your chair silently, in your mind you’re still “saying” each and every syllable. This could be a result of the fact that we all learned to read out loud back when we were little kids.

While subvocalization is normal and nearly everyone does it to some degree, language experts suggest that eliminating it could dramatically boost a person’s average reading speed. The idea is that our minds are capable of processing words faster than we can pronounce them. If we can remove the habit of silently saying each world while reading and, instead, just see and understand the words, the pages will begin to fly by almost automatically.

Posted by James - July 5, 2016 at 3:19 am

Categories: Articles, News, Speed Reading   Tags:

Photographic Memory

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Posted by James - July 5, 2016 at 3:01 am

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Evelyn Wood – Her Speed Reading System

Evelyn Wood

Known for her pioneering methods in speed reading. She was born in Logan, Utah in 1909, received her B.A. in English from the University of Utah in 1929, and became a school teacher and a researcher.

Evelyn began to study Reading while she was a teacher, she was committed to understanding why some people were naturally faster at reading, she tried to read very quickly also. While brushing off the pages of a book she had thrown down in despair, she discovered that the sweeping motion of her hand across the page caught the attention of her eyes, and helped them move more smoothly across the page. She then began establishing her own methods of using a finger or pointer to trace lines of text while eliminating sub-vocalizing which causes to increase speed over the average reading rate while increasing retention. She also discovered that faster readers were more effective readers.

Evelyn was capable of reading 2,700 words a minute, often sharing the traits of reading down the page rather than left to right, reading groups of words or complete thoughts rather than single words, avoiding involuntary rereading of material and applying their efficiency to varied material. She first taught the method at the University of Utah, and published her own book, Reading Skills in 1959. She and her husband, Doug Wood, started the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics business. Her classes were advertised on television in the 1960s and 1970s, the methods were also taught on college campuses in the United States until the late 1990s. One of Wood’s speed reading students claimed that she could read 689-page novel Gone with the Wind in less than one hour.

How important is speed reading?

Most of us tend to read at about 200-400 words per minute, speed readers claim to hit around 1000-1700 words per minute. Speed readers supposedly shorten how long they fixate on a word. They tend to do this by cutting down on sub-vocalization. When you read at 200 words per minute, a 1000-words will take you five minutes. Now imagine that you double your reading speed suddenly that 1000-word article only takes you two and a half, or just a minute. Being able to double the typical reading speed of the average person does not sound like much, but when you are bombarded with thousands of words to read a day, you almost magically have a lot more time to work on your school work, or important projects in your professional environment.

What are the strategies of Evelyn Wood’s Speed Reading System?

There are more than two strategies in Speed Reading but the two most commonly known and used are Skimming and Scanning. These two Speed Reading methods are used for different purposes, they are the fast end of the speed reading range, while studying is at the slow end. People who use these techniques are flexible readers, they do not read everything which is what increases their reading speed. They read according to their purpose and get the information they need quickly without wasting time.

Skimming looks only for the general or main ideas, and work best with non-fiction material. Though your overall understanding is reduced because you do not read everything it is still an effective tool you can use to read more in less time.

How to skim

Look at the title, subheadings, pictures, diagram and else stands out on the page. Read the first and last paragraphs of the chapter because they often contain key information. Read the first sentence of each paragraph, try to restate what you read in your own words. Read word, sentences or phrases in bold or italic type. These words and terms usually are important to understand and remember. Try to read the text quickly, but pay attention to what you pick up in the process. Focus on the nouns and verbs. Skimming can usually be accomplished at about 1000 words per minute, it will help you locate the information quickly while making sure you use your time wisely.

How to scan

Scanning looks only for a specific fact or piece of information without reading everything.

Scanning is very useful for finding a specific name, date, statistics, or fact without reading the entire article, it also allows you to fine details and other information in a hurry.

Keep in mind at all times what it is you are searching for. If your hold the image of the word or idea clearly in mind, it is likely to appear more clearly than the surrounding words. Let your eyes run rapidly over several lines of print at a time. When you find the sentence that has the information you seek, read the entire sentence. In scanning, you must be willing to skip over large sections of text without reading or understanding them. Learning to use your hands while scanning is very helpful in locating specific information. Your peripheral vision can also help you scan effectively. When your hand moves down a list of names, you see not only the name your finger is pointing to, but also the names above and below. Let your eyes work for you when searching for information. Scanning can be done at 1500 or more words per minute.

Posted by James - July 4, 2016 at 11:29 pm

Categories: Evelyn Wood, Speed Reading   Tags:

How to Teach Dyslexic Students

If you plan on teaching as a career, then chances are that you’ll have to deal with at least one student who suffers from dyslexia. One in ten students has some form of learning disability, and dyslexia is one of the most common of all learning disabilities. Therefore, if you’re going to pursue a career as an educator, it only makes sense that you figure out as much as possible about this problem.

Difficulty In Processing Instructions

The most important part of teaching students with dyslexia is to recognize their difficulty in processing instructions. In order to get the most out of your dyslexic student, it is necessary to write things down in clear, concise bullets, show them processes instead of telling them what to do, and to provide multi-sensory teaching tools like videos and experiments.

While reading is often considered to be the number one problem for dyslexic students, this is really only a small part of the problem. In general, most dyslexic students can read pretty well most of the time, they simply cannot remember what they read all that well.

Posted by James - June 1, 2016 at 5:09 am

Categories: Dyslexia   Tags:

What about Photoreading Makes it Hard to Believe?

Some people claim to be able to look at a page, memorize it’s contents, and be able to then access that knowledge at any time. This process is commonly called photoreading, since the imaging process is supposed to very much resemble looking at a photograph in your head. By making mental images of certain pages that have critical information, you could effectively cheat on tests and quizzes by reflecting on the textbook pages during the exam, or have access to formulas, data, and important information at any time.

Should this technique be proven to actually work, it would be a phenomenal advantage for anyone who took the time to learning.

However, despite the thousands of people out there who claim that photo reading is a real, legitimate technique, scientists are having a great deal of trouble verifying the claims that photoreaders make. Most scientists accept that it is possible to recall the images on a page over a short term, but the speed of recall, and the lack of people who can successfully do any kind of recall after a few days. In their minds, photoreading is basically nothing more than a magic trick which can be used at a party.

Posted by James - September 28, 2012 at 2:38 am

Categories: PhotoReading   Tags: ,

Photoreading Scams? Or Photoreading Truths?

Photoreading is a very controversial side topic in the world of speed reading. While some people swear by it’s usefulness, others are convinced that it’s a complicated, overbearing, and downright ridiculous technique to even attempt. Basically, photoreading is a memorization technique in which you attempt to make an image of the page which can stay with you for hours, days, or even a lifetime, and that you can then view it in your mind’s eye whenever you please.

There can be no doubt that this would be a tremendously powerful technique should it be real, but is it too good to be true?

Research currently being conducted on this topic is not quite sure what to think. The basic thought is that it is possible to recreate some very basic “parlor trick” type recall of some specific pages in books, but that it is not all that possible to do all that much more. How much you can memorize beyond the first few days past reading is somewhat more difficult to measure.

Posted by James - September 2, 2012 at 2:37 am

Categories: PhotoReading   Tags: ,

Choosing the Best LSAT Prep Course

In choosing an LSAT prep course, keep in mind that there is no single best LSAT prep course for everyone and that finding the best LSAT prep course simply means choosing which one will suit your particular needs best. In this regard, you need to identify what elements of a course are important for you. Read more…

Posted by James - August 29, 2012 at 9:44 am

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Photographic Memory Books Teach How To Recall Information

There are many photographic memory books that essentially teach people techniques to improve their memory skills.
Photographic memory is often confused with eidetic memory, with which a person can study a picture for about 30 seconds and when the picture removed visualize the image. While an eidetic memory has been witnessed in children, with the image memory lasting a few minutes, it has not been successful found in adults.

In most photographic memory books the techniques used are to help people develop memory skills, not through capturing a mental picture of what they see, but by learning certain tricks to make recalling the information possible. Whether they are looking at a picture, words of text or music, the ability to store that information into their memory is often thought of having a photographic memory.

There are different ways people train their memory, for example, most children memorized the alphabet by singing the alphabet song. The idea of setting the letter to music made it more fun to learn than simply through repetition. One of the most fundamental means of learning for children is through repetition and association and photographic memory books teach the same skills that adults and older children can use to remember a variety of information.

Not All Books Teach Same Memory Habits

Just as it has been shown that people learn on different levels, people learn to train their memories through different methods. When someone writes photographic memory books they write about the techniques that have worked for them and a few others. People on the same learning skill level can probably use these photographic memory books to improve their information retention skills.

However, another person may not realize the same success and may find other photographic memory books, written from a different perspective to more beneficial. Unfortunately, there are no one size fits all photographic memory books that can supply the same level of help for everyone. Different techniques are used in different books to teach people to train their memory and those interested in having the ability of instant and total recall may have to read several books to find the techniques that work for them.

Improving a person’s memory is high on the list of many individuals and there have even been drugs and natural remedies claiming to help improve memory. Similar to photographic memory books, they do not have the same positive impact on everyone and in most cases the ideas in the photographic memory books need to be adapted to the individual needs of the reader.

Posted by James - August 17, 2012 at 9:31 am

Categories: Memory, Photographic Memory   Tags: ,

What can Speed Reading Help You With In College

If there is one thing that should be taught to every single teenager on their way to college, it is the skill of speed reading their textbooks. Unfortunately, too many students are sent away without this necessary component of their schooling, and therefore tend to struggle with keeping up with their work throughout the semester.

In college, you need to read so much more than you ever did in high school. Entire novels are required to be completed by week’s end, and oftentimes you will find that you need to have completed some short essay on the topic during that time as well. This causes many of the common problems that most students have with their college life, namely that they have a tendency to get behind and eventually stop reading all of their required books. When that happens, many students simply shrug off the learning and studying all together, and sometimes, it’s very easy to get away with it. However, this is a terrible way to go about learning new materials in school, and it will start to catch up with you quickly.

Posted by James - August 14, 2012 at 2:41 am

Categories: Education, Speed Reading   Tags: , ,

Top 100 books for Teens

Top Teen Books

Practicing the skill of reading will help anyone increase their reading speed. A really gripping series like Harry Potter can drive teens to read faster and faster.

NPR Books just released their annual teen reading survey results and lists the most popular 100 teen books. Here’s their top 100 list.

Posted by James - August 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Categories: News, Reviews   Tags: ,

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