Taking time to read a long passage can be mentally exhausting and time-consuming. Here are some times to improve your pace while keeping reading comprehension.
- Skim the text. Scan the text to get an understanding of what it is about. Pay attention to headings, bullet points, or bold/large font. To get an overall understanding of the passage, skim the first and last paragraph. Try to figure out how the author structured it.
- Approach the text in a strategic way taking in consideration what you want to get out of reading the material. Ask yourself, what do I want to learn by reading this? Then figure out why the author wrote the material. For example, the author might have written about World War 2 but you want to learn more about England during the war. As a result, you read the sections about England. You should find and read sections that relate to your goal.
- When reading, minimize all distractions. Outsides noises, interruptions, and distractions can take your focus away. Reading passively causes them to go back and re-read to better understand it. This can slow down your reading pace so to save the most time, approach reading attentively.
- Don’t read every word. A beneficial technique is to scan 1.5-inch word chunks versus individual words. Scanning chunks of three to five words allow you to improve your reading pace. This technique will discourage the urge to subvocalize or to silently pronounce each word in your head. Subvocalization slows down and distracts the reader from the author’s point.
- Skip sections that aren’t relevant to your reading goal unless you are reading something important. This allows you to take away the main points and helps you from running out of time.
- The best way to see if you fully understood what you read is to summarize it. Write down what you learned and summarize what you read. This ensures you remember the material.
- Practice timing yourself. Being able to read faster while understanding takes practice. You can practice timing yourself to see how many words per minute you can read. Simultaneously test your comprehension.