How to Read Quickly
How Can I Read Faster?
When you have a lot of things to read and a short time to read them, it can be overwhelming! Regardless of what you need to read, from documents to books to web sites, there are ways to increase your reading speed and decrease your stress!
This method is simple, but it can provide big payoffs. The more you use it, the better you get at reading quickly and the more you can read in a short time.
Reading Fast: It's Easy!
Here are the steps to reading faster. First, pick out one item that you need to read, such as a document or web page. Then follow these steps:
- Read all titles and subtitles, but nothing else. You are getting an overview during this pass.
- Go back to the top and read all bold and italics words and sentences. If the titles and subtitles are in bold, read those again as well. Do this from the top to the bottom in the second pass.
- Now go back and look at the pictures, charts and diagrams. Chances are that you've seen these as you made the first two passes. This time, look them over and read the captions. By now you have a pretty good idea of the material that is covered, and you haven't even read a complete sentence yet! The first three passes should only take a few minutes to complete.
- Now go back to the top and read the first and last sentence of each paragraph. That may sound crazy, but you'll get a good idea of what they are about just from that information. If you come across a paragraph that, after reading these two sentences, you don't really know what it was about, go ahead and read the entire paragraph.
- Finally, start at the beginning and review the entire document. Skim over the items you reviewed in steps one through three. If there are any lingering questions in your mind, read a few paragraphs in the section that should answer your question.
What do you want to read faster?
Improve Reading Comprehension
Not only does this method help you read information faster, but it also helps you comprehend and remember what you read. Who knew that reading faster would also mean reading better?
This method helps with comprehension because it provides a cyclical pattern to reading. By following these steps, you cycle through the reading material multiple times. By seeing and reviewing or skimming it many times, it becomes more solidified in your mind.
This approach also allows you to gradually step into the information instead of trying to comprehend it all at once. You start with baby steps, like reading titles and subtitles and looking at diagrams. While those aren't the meat of the information, they slowly bring you into it. It's like wading from the beach into the ocean. First you dip your toes in, then your feet, etc., more with each step, until you are comfortable and familiar with the water.
Reading Strategies: Varieties of Text
While it is ideal for workplace style documents, this method can be used on any type of text. Most text contains subtitles and a title, and even web content generally has images with captions. If the text you are using is missing any of these components, simply skip that step. It will still work, and you'll still find yourself reading more quickly and comprehending the information faster and better.