Learn to inhale information!
The most successful students I have come across don’t just read, they inhale information!
Not only have these students successfully complete their assigned readings, they tell me that they often read blogs, and books in addition, that really interests them.
The following techniques are super effective when it comes to helping read faster. I believe in providing you the best tips that will help you thrive in college or university. So make sure that you use these techniques provided below so that you too can absorb and retain information and do well in all your courses!
Method 1: Use the Finger Method To Increase Speed
I want to share with you this powerful technique because it has helped me and countless others to increase their speeding and comprehension when they read their textbooks.
The first technique is known as Directional Tracking or Finger Method. When using this technique, you must always use your finger to guide your eyes to follow the text. Use your finger to point to the text that you are reading. Move your finger horizontally as you read through the text.
This method allows your brain to concentrate and focus specifically on the text that it is being directed towards. This technique prevents your brain from being exhausted by scanning or looking over other information on the page.
You probably have noticed that your brain sometimes wonders and looks at other text or images. This can disrupt and interfere with the flow of information and can negatively impact how you remember and encode information. As a result, it can diminish your reading speed, attention and understanding.
Directional tracking is a very valuable, but a simple method that is very important for proficient reading. When you have some practice using the technique, you can increase the speed in which your finger moves to increase the reading speed. I encourage to you to move your finger faster and faster over time in order to read the text quicker
Method 2: Read Without Moving Your Lips
Reading using your lips, or sub-vocalization is one of the major problems that can drastically reduce your reading speed. This reduction in speed can make you bored, and exhaust you when you are reading.
Sub-vocalization involves reading one word at a time and sounding out every word. This is inefficient because in order to comprehend what you are reading, sub-vocalization is not only unnecessary, it can overwork and overload your brain.
As you can guess, sub-vocalization can lead to additional time for you to do your readings, without really improving the understanding of the material.
When you vocalize words, you not only use the parts of the brain that is responsible for reading and comprehension, but you also exhaust the usage of other areas that are responsible for speech, such as the Broca’s area, which is unnecessary when you are trying to focus and retain information from the text.
By practicing this way of reading, you will see that when you reduce sub-vocalization, you are able to double or triple your reading speed.
How to reduce sub-vocalization?
Especially in the beginning, you need to consciously catch, and stop yourself from vocalizing the words. The more you try to read without vocalizing the words, the better you will become. This is the most effective method for eliminating this habit.
Using the directional tracking method is shown to help reduce sub-vocalization as well. As you move your finger to increase the reading speed, sub-vocalization simultaneously reduces because your vocalization cannot keep up with directional tracking speed.
A less conventional method that has been used to reduce the sub-vocalization is chewing gum. Many have found this is a rather effective way to reduce sub-vocalization.
Method 3: Eliminate Back-Skipping
Back-skipping is the habit of reading the same sentence or section, two or more times. Usually, this could happen both intentionally and unintentionally.
Many students back-skip because they lose the place in the text they were reading, and go back to the beginning of the page or paragraph to find it. Using the directional tracking method, you can reduce back-skipping because it helps you to track where you are reading.
Many students tell me that they prefer taking extra time to re-read some parts of the textbook. This is because they feel they did not totally understand the meaning of what they read on the first time. In order to overcome this, directional tracking can be used to increase your focus and concentration.
I’m sure you have noticed a pattern of the many benefits this style of reading can be. Due to the fact that directional tracking assists you to focus and concentrate on the material without distracting your brain with other text, you are able to read without losing the place in the text.
Obviously you may need to slow down in areas that doesn’t make sense and need extra time to understand. You are supposed to re-read important concepts that are vital for your exams.
It is up to you to decide whether the information you are re-reading is important enough. For example, if you are re-reading details of examples that is presented to you, and you already have a full understanding of the concept presented, you could be wasting time.
Combine all three methods…
I noticed that I was able to read my text faster and faster over time when I started use all three methods at once. I would use use the directional tracking method while reading without sub-vocalizations and back-skipping. I noticed that I was able to double and triple by reading speeds using these three methods. I highly encourage you to use these techniques for your studying. In the beginning, you will feel uncomfortable and you may not feel like you are not understanding the text properly. Understand that this is part of the process.
After spending about 45 minutes reading this way, your brain will start to adjust and would be able to absorb information better.