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Reading Speed calculating
Calculating the reading speed is a simple and process.
It just a time reading a page of a book at a comfortable temp. Count the number of words in the
first five or ten lines, whatever you feel is representative of the page as a whole, and
then count the total number of lines in the page. Then use the following formula:
the number of lines in the page divided by
the number of lines used for the word count multiplied by
the number of words in the word count divided by
the number of minutes it took you to read the page.
The end result will be the reading speed. Obviously, if you increase the number of lines
in which you perform the word count, or the number of pages you read, the accuracy of your
calculation will increase as well. One page is usually enough, though.
The average reading speed is often held to be around 265 wpm, though I've heard estimates
ranging from 250 to slightly over 300.
To measure speed reading rate, locate appropriate reading materials
and select a section of text. Mark the beginning of the selection. Read for a certain
length of time (use a timer or watch) or for a certain amount of text. Mark the end of the
selection, and note the total number of minutes spent reading.
Document the level of comprehension by recalling main ideas from the selection. If one
reads for three minutes, one should remember three main points. If one reads for five
minutes, one should remember five main ideas. Jot down these main points.
Count the number of words between the two marks, and divide that number by the number
of minutes spent reading. This is the rate of reading, expressed in words per minute.
There are two simple steps involved in creating your speed test. The first is to have
something to read, the second is timing how long you will read for.
This simplest test is to read for a certain amount of time. This might be 1, 2, 5 or 10
minutes. After you have read for the allotted time, calculate the number of words read and
divide by the number of minutes. This gives the words read per minute or wpm.
To calculate the number of words the best way is to estimate using the following method.
Turn to a page in your book which is not the beginning or end of a chapter, and so is a
"full" page. Pick a full line at random and count the number of words in the
line. There are usually about 10 to 12 words per line. Now count the number of lines in
the page. If you multiply the two numbers together you will have an estimate of the number
of words per page in that particular book. This will vary from book to book, so you
recalculate when you use a different book.
Lets say you are going to do a 5 minute speed test. Have your clock ready or have a friend
time you. Note the point where you have started in your book with a pencil, or write down
the page number. Then signal your timekeeper and begin to read for understanding. When the
5 minutes is up, stop and note your position on the final page. Go back to your starting
page and count the number of pages you have read.
Multiply the number of pages you have read by the number of words per page calculated
earlier, then add the number of words you have read on your final unfinished page. This total will the number of words read in 5
minutes. Divide this number by 5 and you have your words per minute.
Note that it is advisable to start at the beginning of a chapter so the effect of half
pages is minimized. Do not worry too much about the exact number of words read, as the
estimates are reasonably accurate, and it is the increases in your reading speed which you
will find most interesting. For example, going twice as fast, or ten times as fast.
This has been a basic coverage of reading instruction that is really quite old technology.
In future months I will cover "Photo reading" as a part of
speed reading and "Backward Reading"
which allow you to read incredibly fast with no loss of understanding or comprehension. I
will also cover methods of retaining the information with Memory improvement instructions,
Mind mapping, and various other ways to make learning easier and more fun. I am working
also on several techniques that are easily capable of increasing your creative output more
than 10 fold, with far less effort. Other issues will cover ways of dramatically and
simply improving your communication skills, and reducing stress.
Speed reading and practice
If you practice speed reading, you'll get through your revision or homework faster
AND retain more information!
Speed reading is a bit like running - or playing any sport for that matter - you
can learn the techniques, but to get good at it and build up speed, you really need
to practice. Athletes train for hours every day, but your reading speed will improve
if you practice these techniques for as little as 10 minutes per day.
Speed reading techniques can be applied to all sorts of texts - short or long: emails,
letters, text books, revision notes...You might use some of the tips already without
even realizing it. For example, when you are choosing a book to buy, you might have
a flick through to judge the language, style or size of writing.
The tips below will help you to make informed choices about what and how much to
read. As a result you'll be able to read more effectively (and faster), retain more
information and improve your level of concentration.