A lot of things you do in life have an associated speed. But you probably don’t think about that speed very much. A good example is walking. The pace at which you normally walk has an associated speed. How you drive, how long it takes to complete your homework or work assignments, and how long it takes to shower can all be associated with various speeds as well.
Something else you probably don’t think about is your ability to modify the speeds at which you perform these and other daily tasks. You can drive faster and slower as traffic conditions allow. You can walk faster or slower, depending on where you’re going, how quickly you need to get there, and your energy level. And you can do your homework faster, especially when there’s something you want to do or someplace you want to go.
Well guess what?
Reading is no different. If you do any reading at all, whether a lot or a little, it’s safe to say that you read at a certain speed. Most of the time your reading speed remains consistent. However when necessary, you can, to a certain extent, adjust your reading speed faster or slower. Usually it’s slower because you want to make sure you understand what you’re reading.
As I said before, I doubt you give much thought to how fast or slow you’re doing it. The most you ever think about your reading speed is that it’s slower than you’d like it to be, which explains why you’re here.
Later on, I’ll teach you how to measure your reading speed. It’s not that hard and it’s something you can do on your own. It’s mostly a matter of figuring out how many words you can read per minute.
If you’re wondering why all the focus on knowing your reading speed, the answer is simple. The only way you can gauge your speed reading progress is to start with a point of reference. It’s just like losing weight.
Before you can determine how much weight you’ve lost, you need to know what your weight was when you started dieting. By regularly weighing yourself while you diet, you’re able to keep track of whether you’re losing or gaining weight. If you didn’t have a starting weight to use as a point of reference, you’d never know whether or not you were making any progress.
Well, that same concept applies to measuring your speed reading progress. If at the beginning of this post your reading speed is clocked at 250 words per minute, and the next time you test your reading speed it’s 345 words per minute, you can easily see that your reading speed has increased by nearly 100 words per minute. Seeing your progress reflected in actual numbers will make you happy and keep you motivated.
If your reading speed increases even more the next time you test it, say from 345 words per minute to 500 words per minute, you’ll clearly see that you’re continuing to make good progress.
When we first test your reading speed, don’t be surprised or discouraged if your numbers puts you in the category of a slow reader. That doesn’t matter because the point of determining your current reading speed is not to classify you in any certain way.
In fact, without knowing anything at all about any of you, I’m willing to bet that most of your initial reading scores fall somewhere in the range of a slow reader. That’s what I find with most of the speed reading students I teach.
If you recall, slow readers are those whose reading speeds are between 150 and 250 words per minute. Again, if that’s where your initial speed lands, don’t worry. I won’t call you any names, or laugh at you or anything like that. And besides, I already know you’re not happy with your reading speed. Otherwise you wouldn’t be making an effort to improve it.
Instead, I respect your desire to improve your reading speed, and I plan to do my best to help you achieve that goal.
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