How to Read Faster and Smarter

Have you ever wished that you could read faster and remember more of what you read? Following are some tips and tricks that will help you do just that. Many people view reading as an intimidating chore and don’t like it because they weren’t taught how to read through material quickly. We’ve been taught to read each word and say it in our minds as we read thus slowing us down. You can read smarter and remember the key points of what you read. There are shortcuts that you can use to help you zip through your reading more quickly while retaining the information that you need. This method is more efficient than speed reading.

Researchers have targeted three miraculous strategies for bypassing the fluff in reading and go straight to the main points. They include: increasing your ideas per minute, using the reading map, and skimming.

Most people assume that if you can read more words per minute that you automatically take in information faster. This is partly true but if you aren’t taking in the critical data that you need, then your efforts are wasted. Some people mistakenly focus on increasing speed at which they take in words, but taking in more words faster isn’t the reason you’re reading in the first place. you read to acquire facts and ideas or knowledge. You can train yourself to take in all the ideas of an article, report, news item, etc. without taking in all the words. If you read for ideas and key points you are more likely to remember what you learn.

Try practicing this the next time you read a newspaper article:

1. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
2. Read the piece at your normal reading speed.
3. Stop when the timer goes off and write down the key ideas that you remember.
4. Set the timer again for 15 minutes.
5. Begin reading again but jump past things that don’t appear to be ideas. You will be glancing through most of it and that’s the idea here. Don’t take in each word and detail but do stop and carefully read things that might contain the key ideas in the writing.
6. Read those important items at your normal pace.
7. Look for material that seems worth noting.
8. When the timer goes off, stop and write down the things you remember and then compare the number of ideas you wrote down in the first reading with the number of ideas you wrote down in the second reading.
Are you surprised at the results? If you practice this method on a regular basis it will increase your results tremendously.

Most fact based writings like journals, reports, books, etc. are written following a universal format. Knowing this can help you skim through the material at a glance and pick out key points. Start by going through the headings and sub-headings. Decide which area will give you the information you need or the information that you find of interest. Then go back and just read those sections. This is a big time saving method if you are on a deadline and need to get through the material quickly. You can always go back and read the rest later if you need too.

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