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6 Speed Reading Tips for Students



6 Speed Reading Tips for Students
You may be old enough to remember Evelyn Wood's name as being synonymous with speed reading and speed learning. She was the founder of Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics. Her former business partner, H. Bernard Wechsler, shares six of the techniques successful speed readers use.


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Secret 6: Exercise Your Eyes for 60 Seconds Before Reading

Secret 6: Exercise Your Eyes for 60 Seconds Before Reading
  • Focus on a spot on the wall 10 feet in front of you, keeping your head still. I
  • With your right hand extended in front of you at eye level, trace an 18-inch infinity symbol (a sideways 8) and follow it with your eyes three or four times.
  • Switch hands and trace the symbol with your left hand, effectively awakening both sides of your brain.
  • Drop your hand and trace the symbol 12 times in one direction with your eyes alone.
  • Switch, moving your eyes in the other direction.




H. Bernard Wechsler

"This daily one-minute exercise  may help you avoid eye-muscle fatigue. It sharpens your vision and activates your peripheral sight to speed up your learning speed."

H. Bernard Wechsler



Affirmations That Make You Learn Faster

  1. "I release my past beliefs/perceptions/judgments and now easily and quickly learn and remember."
  2. "Every day in every way I'm speedlearning faster and faster, and getting better and better."



Secret 4: Reading in Chunks

Secret 4: Reading in Chunks

The human eye has a spot called fovea, where vision is clearest. So you can see the center of a chunk most clearly, but you can still distinguish the surrounding words.

Reading a sentence in three or four chunks instead of word per word, will increase your reading speed.



H. Bernard Wechsler

"Chunking makes it easier for your retina to use central vision (fovea ) to offer you sharp, clear words to read."

H. Bernard Wechsler



Secret 3: Read with a Pointer

Secret 3: Read with a Pointer

We instinctually follow moving objects in our field of vision. A pointer will help you create a pace and focuses your attention on the page.

Using a pointer object, or your finger, to underline each sentence as you read focuses your attention on the page. This speeds up your reading six times by allowing your peripheral vision to pick up six words on either side of the focus point.



Secret 2: Head Movements

Secret 2: Head Movements

Research claims that moving your head left to right as you read helps to stabilize images on your retina. It's called the vestibulo-ocular reflex.



H. Bernard Wechsler

"When using a (pointer), never permit the point to touch the page, Underline about ½ inch above the words on the page. In just 10 minutes of practice, your pacing becomes smooth and comfortable. Your learning speed will double in 7 days and triple in 21 days."

H. Bernard Wechsler



Secret 1: Viewing Angle

Secret 1: Viewing Angle

Hold your material or screen at a 30-Degree Angle.

Reading from flat material is painful to your retina, causes eye fatigue, and after about two hours often leads to dry eye and irritation.



Secret 5: Believe

Secret 5: Believe

H. Bernard Wechsler believes that repeating positive affirmations 30 seconds a day for 21 days helps to "create linked brain cells (neurons) in permanent neural networks."




Speed reading

Speed reading
  • Speed reading promises to help anyone read at speeds of above 1000 words per minute with full comprehension.
  • The average college-level reader read at the speed of 200-400 words pe...

How speed reading works

Speed reading uses methods such as chunking, scanning, reducing subvocalization, and using meta guiding. For example, reading the first sentence of each paragraph can indicate if it's worth reading more or to move on. Or guiding your eye by using your finger.

Some researchers looked into speed reading and found there is a trade-off between speed and accuracy.

Speed reading and information retention

Speed reading can help you skim to content, which is useful at times. However, speed reading cannot help you read faster and retain more information.

  • Our eyes are designed only to see a tiny portion of our visual field with the precision needed to recognise a letter in a 10 to 12 point font. Everything outside that small area is blurry. The idea promoted by speed reading that we can use our peripheral vision to see whole sentences is biologically impossible.
  • While we spend most of our time reading forward, our eyes often go back to reread some text. This is the way our brain links content together. Speed reading attempts to help you read faster by showing one word at a time. This has a bad impact on overall comprehension.

2 more ideas

Rebecca Treiman - Psychology PhD

“It is unlikely that readers will be able to double or triple their reading speeds (e.g., from around 250 to 500–7..."

Rebecca Treiman - Psychology PhD

Human Body X Speed Reading

The fovea is a small high visual acuity area in the retina. Our eyes are seriously limited in their precision outside said area.

We can take in only a word or so at each glance, and a little bit about the words on either side. 

Multiple experiments confirm that speed reading,” leads to decreased comprehension of the parts of the text that reader's eyes skip over.

Rebecca Treiman - Psychology PhD

Rebecca Treiman - Psychology PhD

“The factor that most strongly determined reading speed was word-identification ability.”

Denying Your Own Creativity

That’s a self-imposed and self-limiting belief. Stop that.

Creativity is a requirement for problem-solving and we all problem-solve. Acknowledge that you're inherently creative,

Being Afraid Of Being Wrong

We hate being wrong, but mistakes often teach us the most and allow us to innovate.

Think of the pros and cons of trying something and then free yourself to do it. If it doesn't work, take what you learn, and try something else. 

Being Too "Serious"

The persona of the fool allows the truth to be told, without the usual ramifications that might come with speaking against social conventions. Give yourself permission to be a fool and see things for what they really are.