Reading assignments are something you will have to endure during your college career. Some professors are lazy and test strictly from the book, and some are evil by testing for minor details found in the chapters. In case you did not know, such professors receive test banks from their book’s publisher and the questions are ranked based on difficulty. The “hard” and “specific” questions are usually the ones that are focused on the minor details. I personally tried to avoid such professors, but that did not always work out.
Majority of the time I did not enjoy spending an hour reading a chapter about TQM, FIFO, or some other eye sore boring topic, thereby I was determined to learn how to read faster and still retain the same information. Let me explain a speed reading technique that I have personally learned and saved hours if not days of reading time.
First, you must widen your eye span. Eye span is the critical point of any speed reading method. The second step is to refrain reading word for word. Between every blink of your eyes, you should have captured not just 1 word, but multiple words, and later even whole sentences at a time. This might sound hard for you to do, since we were all taught to read word by word, but in actuality your brain recognizes a word just by looking at it and you can train it to recognize two words and more. To clarify, in this stage of your mental development, you have probably seen the same words in different context thousands of times. Just by looking at a single word, you automatically know and associate it’s meaning. This works for numerous words just the same.
The third step is to practice your speed reading. Start with reading just two words at a time until you are comfortable. You have to read a chapter for one of your assignments anyway, why not learn how to speed read while you are at it. So next time you are sitting there and reading, remind yourself you are no longer reading one word at a time, but with your wide eye span you are taking in two words per eye focus. When two words becomes easy, try with three words at a time, and so forth. Personally I have not mastered reading full sentences per eye focus, but four to five words per focus is not a problem at all. Just keep at it and practice until it becomes natural to you.
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