Learning to Speed Read

Learning to Speed Read

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  1. Speed Reading is probably one of the most important skills a student, or even a non-student, can have. Through speed reading, you become efficient in your reading and can understand the main points of the selection with ease. In addition, should you be forced to read long passages or stories in a short amount of time, you will be able to do so, as well as comprehend the given material.

    The first, and probably most accepted way to speed-read is through a method many like to call "SQ3R." This is merely an acronym for the following: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. However, when it comes to having to read long passages, you don’t exacly have the time to read, recite, or review. So the following steps will be of use:

    1. Mark it up: In most cases, you won’t get penalized for annotating during speed reading tests. Make note of anything that stands out, whether it be a bold word, italicized word, or even a word that is unfamiliar to you.

    2. Look for Any Headings: If the selection you are to read is a textbook, then make sure you keep an active eye out for large-print headings and the subtopics, which are represented usually as smaller text than the title, but significantly larger than the rest of the selection.

    3. Make a mental note of what is under each heading: If there’s a heading for a certain topic, most likely, it is important. Though this isn’t true 100% of the time, the odds are definitely in favor of such. Textbooks are organized to help students understand what exactly is going on in the material. If there are important words in a certain heading, make sure you understand why its under such a heading and relate it.

    4. Don’t read a whole page at one time: The most important component in speed reading is this: Don’t pass through the selection slowly. This is obvious to everyone, but its easier said than done. During tests that require you to read in a rapid manner, such as the ACT, I found myself convinced that I can speed read efficiently. I ended up reading the entire passage and answered one question per section. Make note of large words, bold print, and italicized selections, just as what was mentioned before. Just get a jist of what the reading is about but don’t try to analyze it.

    5. Flip Through The Pages of the Selection FirstĀ (If More than One Page): Make sure you know what you’re dealing with. Go through the preceding four steps when doing this with one exception: don’t try and comprehend what is going on. Get a quick feel for what the passage will be like, so you can actually start ripping the selection piece by piece. Once you’ve done so, you’ll find that reading the rest of the article, passage, or story will start to blend together.

    Speed Reading isn’t hard if you know what to do, and can analyze the situation at hand. Always find out what you’re dealing with, but never look into it too much. Don’t confuse speed reading with analytical reading, however. And definitely make sure you don’t read every single word inĀ the entire passage when speed reading.

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