Get a rest after reading
You'll read faster and comprehend more if you read in an environment that's
comfortable for you. Enjoy relaxing music between studying and exams. Drink
plenty of water. Chewing helps feed oxygen to the brain and can help with clear
thinking. Prepare for the exams by studying in setting as if you are in the
exams. Exam questions and consider much time you have on each question not to stay too
long with the tricky ones. A little bit of caffeine stimulates the brain but too much is no
good so go easy on the stuff.
These are suggestions do what you feel comfortable doing and modify according to
To read quickly and efficiently, it is absolutely necessary that you
are relaxed and focused. The state of mind that we will attempt to introduce you to is the
same one that athletes strive for in order to perform their best. This is a zone that will
facilitate fast reading, deep learning, and ultimately, a sense of accomplishment.
Get a hyper focus
Getting into a hyper focused and relaxed state isn't as hard as you
might think, and simply requires following some very basic steps. As you progress with
speed-reading skills, you will be able to pare down the steps and get yourself into
this state in a matter of 30 seconds.
In order to succeed at anything it is necessary to remove all
self-doubt and to cast aside any inhibitive preconceived notions you might have about the
task and your ability. Think of all those negative feelings you have about reading. For
example, you might feel that reading is boring, that you have trouble retaining the
information you read about, that you take so long to get through a single chapter, and so
on. Anyway, mentally rake up all these assumptions you have (as if they were autumn
leaves) and picture putting them in a plastic bag. Tie a knot in the bag and fling it off
a cliff---watch this bag of junk sail away into nothingness.
Think positively about what you are about to do. Think, "this is
great…I am going to learn to focus and to zip through reams of reading material. This is
a skill that I can learn and I will learn." You mind have a very large
capacity to learn and that you can definitely read quickly and effectively. Imagine how
much you are going to learn and how much time you will save with this new skill. Remember
that limitations are self-imposed and as soon as you say "I can", well, you
probably can! Believe in human brain.
Sit up straight. Posture is very important to speed reading, if you're
slouched, your mind will be "lazy" and inattentive.
Then it is important to become physically relaxed. Top athletes often
describe feeling loose and relaxed before the best performances of their lives. The same
holds for brain activity. To learn and to absorb information properly, being calm, loose,
and relaxed is imperative. To get into this super zone, close the eyes and
transport yourself to a serene place. Perhaps you are walking through deep
woods. Just pick personal paradise and go there mentally. Use free imagination.
Breathe deeply through the nose, from your lower abdomen (this is real deep
breathing, using your entire diaphragm, and not just the top part). Perhaps you
are lying in the grass on your parent's back lawn, face turned to the sun.
Perhaps you are sitting at the edge of a calm lake, toes dipped into the warm
water. Breathe in and count 3 long
seconds, breathe out and count 3 long seconds. Do this ten times. Soon you will be able to
condense this process and get into the mode by taking a few deep breaths.
Do you need Speed reading skills?
I was a college student when one of our chapels featured a guest speaker who
taught us how to speed-read. At the time I didn’t need the skill since most
collateral reading assignments in my softwares were under 500 pages, but I started
practicing just for the fun of it — sort of like a private parlor game. However
all that changed when I wound up in graduate school at Princeton Seminary and
several Profs. expected me to read several thousand pages of collateral along
with the five or six textbooks. That’s when I got serious about speed reading.
Here is the collection of what I practiced then, and picked up since.
I don’t know anyone who isn’t at least intrigued by the idea of being able to
read and comprehend at a much quicker clip, but I must admit I’ve always been a
bit dubious of speed-reading claims. That said, I’m all for speed-reading
techniques if they work out.
I’m sure there are some readers who’ve experimented with speed reading.