Finding a Speed Reading Program - The Truth behind the Claims
If you're interested in pursuing a speed reading program, you're
in good company. Because of the over-abundance of information
that we all have to deal with on a daily basis, speed reading is
looking increasingly attractive. In fact, if you can more than
double your reading speed without losing comprehension, it could
benefit you greatly. It's no wonder that more and more students
and professionals are looking for an effective speed reading
In order to take full advantage of a speed reading program,
though, it helps to investigate the truth behind the claims.
This is because some of the claims that speed reading courses
make are absolutely incredible, and might well be too good to be
true. Consider the following: When we're reading in order to
learn - for comprehension, that is - most of us naturally read
at speeds of 200 - 400 words per minute (wpm), depending on
natural ability and the difficulty level of the text being read.
Sometimes, of course, we naturally speed up. If someone is
reading an article or book for pleasure, and it's not important
to read every words, we automatically slip into another type of
reading - sometimes called 'skimming' or 'scanning'. This is
just what it sounds like - rather than reading every word, we
skim the information, looking for what we want or what interests
us. We allow our eyes to travel down the page, and stop on
relevant information. This is 'lazy' reading, in a sense, but
comprehension is still fairly good for most people - about 75%.
The average speed for this type of reading is somewhat faster -
it can range from 400 to 700 wpm.
A speed reading program can teach most people to increase their
reading speed significantly above and beyond the speed of
'skimming'. The nex thing that most people wonder about is how
much speed can be increased - and this is where it gets
confusing! Some speed reading programs offer a moderate increase
in speed - to about 1000 wpm. This seems reasonable; what these
programs are doing is teaching you to skim more efficiently.
They do this by using a pacer to keep your eyes moving across
the page, or by teaching you to read using your peripheral
However, there are other speed reading programs that exceed
these claims dramatically - some claim that they can teach you
to read at the truly amazing speed of 10,000 wpm, or even more!
Needless to say, experts are sceptical of these claims, though
many proponents of speed reading swear that they are true.