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February 08, 2013

Practical Techniques you should follow to Improve your Reading Speed

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This article is posted as the LESSON 3 under the lecture series of Reading Comprehension Exercises of Competitive Exams. If you are new to this series please go through our Lecture Series I and II to get  complete knowledge on the topic.

Friends,  first let us try answer one question, Why does the reading speed differ from person to person? Let us take a statement...

"If you ask me to pin point one important quality that led me to success I will choose Patience"

A person whose reading habits are not honed, reads the above sentence, one words at ta time. i.e., his span of vision allows him to read only one words for each eye movement he makes. This span of vision can be improved with conscious effort and can cover / read three to five or more words at once. i.e., in one eye movement. So, the span of vision is one main reason for the difference in reading speeds. Naturally, you should be interested in increasing your span of vision. Lets take the same statement considered above. 

Try to focus your sight on the asterisk on the underlined set of words and make an attempt to read one complete set of underlined words (on left and right side of asterisk) at one time - without having to move your eye from left to right. Initially you might find it difficult to work on this technique. Regular practice will make you comfortable.

Another simple technique which will develop your ability to absorb written words is reading a page by inverting it (don't try this with monitor.. Just pick any printed article for this practice ;) .. lol). YOu will not be able to understand anything that is written but this exercise helps your mind to pick up words faster than it is used to , as it develops acquaintance with words from different angle. You will experience it when you start reading the page in the ordinary reading position after such an exercise. 

When you are learning some good reading habits you should unlearn certain bad reading habits also. Over a long period of time you might have acquired the habit of reading and re - reading the same set of words in the passage thinking that it helps you understand the passage better. This approach eats up your precious time in the exams. Unless you make a conscious attempt to unlearn it you will not be able to perform at your best. You should also keep in mind the fact that the examiner is not going to ask you each and every detail in the passage which implies that yo need not have to read it "THOROUGHLY" to answer the questions in this section. So, even if you do not understand a part of the passage, you should continue reading the passage but not stop there or go back to read the sentence again.

While you should certainly adopt ways that improve your speed and reduce the "blocks" for improving your speed, regular practice still remains to be the most important factor in improving your performance in reading comprehension. Thats all for now friends. From tomorrow we shall practice some exercises on Reading Comprehension...

You can read more English related articles for Competitive Exams here.. All the Best and Happy Reading :)

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