How to read your research papers 300% faster and understand them better

If you could do all reading 300% faster you could spend the time saved doing things you enjoy or just chilling out. For geeks you’ll be able to read 3-5 papers in the same time it takes you now to read one paper. Impossible! Not really it is quite simple.

You only need to control your motor movements. To increase comprehension you need to relax and focus. A few minutes of deep breathing prior to reading will help you to relax.

The techniques can be used to increase speed in any language – English, German, Arabic or Hindi. You can increase your speed easily to 3,000 words per minute or 10 pages per minute. Normal speed is about 200-300 words per minute or 1 page per minute. Only about 1% of the population in the UK can read over 400 words per minute.

You may be thinking I don’t want to just read fast I want to understand what I am reading. I want to improve my comprehension. Rest assured this technique will not only increase your speed simultaneously it will improve your comprehension, understanding and retention. How can I make such a promise? I can because normal reading is inefficient and I am going to show you how to eliminate inefficiencies in your motor movements.

Tools

To start you will need some basic tools. You’ll need a book that can be laid flat when open, a pen and a stopwatch. This exercise will take about 15 minutes to complete.

Key steps

To increase your speed, follow the steps given below.

  1. Minimise the number of fixations and length of time you are fixed in these positions.
  2. Don’t read in a straight line but in jumps. Each jump ends with a fixation giving you a temporary snapshot of the text within the area of focus. Make each fixation about 0.25-0.5 seconds.
  3. Don’t go back. Most people skip back and re-read the material consciously.
  4. Condition yourself to increase the horizontal peripheral vision span and the number of words registered per fixation. If your not trained you’ll use central focus instead of horizontal peripheral vision. You’ll miss 50% of the words per fixation.

What are the steps? There are 3 steps. You’ll learn the technique, apply it with speed and test it for comprehension.

Keep these separate. You’ll soon adapt to the methods and start using it with ease. Initially don’t sweat over the comprehension. You are practicing the motor skills. Use the technique, use it with speed and then test your comprehension.

Practice the technique 3 times faster than you target reading speed. If you now read at 200 words per minutes and your target is 600 words per minutes then you will need to practice the technique at 1800 words per minute. This is 6 pages per minute.

How fast are you reading now?

Let’s work out your current speed.

Count the number of words on 10 lines and divide the total by 10. This gives you an average number of words per line.

For example, 110 words/10 = 11 words per line.

Count the number of lines on 10 pages and divide by 10 to get an average number of lines per page. Multiply the answer by the average number of words. This gives the average number of words per page.

For example, 300 lines/10 pages = 30 lines per page x 11 words per line = 330 words per page.

Now, start and read for 1 minute at your normal speed to understand the content. Multiply the number of lines with your average per line to work out the words per minutes at normal speed.

(Time: 1 min.)

Technique

Use a pen or a finger to minimize skipping back and fixation periods. Hold the pen with a cap and trace a line under each line and keep your eyes just above the tip of the pen. Use this to pace and keep a consistent speed. The pen is used as a tracker and pacer. Don’t worry about comprehension. Focus just above the tip and keep each line to a maximum of 1 second and no longer than that.

(Time: 2 min.)

Speed

Repeat the technique keeping the time for each line to 0.5 seconds. You might understand nothing – which is normal. Keep at the same speed. This is a conditioning exercise for your perceptual reflexes. You are learning to adapt to the system.  Do it for 3 minutes. Focus just above the pen and concentrate of speed. Keep reading each line faster and faster.

(Time: 3 min.)

Expanding your peripheral vision

If you are looking at the center of a TV you can still perceive and register what is on the sides. You have to train your peripheral vision to increase your speed by 300%.

If you are not trained reader you will read the first word to the last and will be looking your only using 50% of your peripheral vision and most focused on margins where there are no words. About 25-50% of the time is spent on no content in the margins.

Technique

Use a pen. Start 1 word in from the first word of each line and end 1 word in from the last. Don’t worry about comprehension. Read1 line per second and no longer.

(Time: 1 min.)

Repeat again but this time begin 2 words in and end with 2 words from the last. Read1 line per second and no longer.

(Time: 1 min.)

Speed

Repeat again by beginning 3 words in form the first and end 3 words from the end of the line.  Spend no more than 0.5 second per line.

You might not understand anything. Don’t worry. This is normal. Keep up the speed. This is an exercise in training your speed. Focus above the tip of the pen. Keep reading faster and faster.

(Time: 3 min.)

Work out your new speed. Read at your fastest comprehension rate. Multiply the number of lines by your previous average words per line to get your new reading speed.

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One response

  1. I’ll give it a trie!…
    Keep the nice tips coming 😉

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