Tips on How to Read Faster Without Losing Comprehension

Reading is a skill that we can find useful, especially when we need to learn something – whether for academic or practical use. However, there are moments when we only have a short time to absorb everything we read when tasked to do multiple readings at once.

Indeed, reading many passages can be time-consuming and exhausting on your eyes. Even if you’re a wide reader, there will be a point in time when you’ll feel like you are experiencing information overload.

So, is there a way we can read at a faster rate? The answer is, yes. Speed reading is not “skip reading,” but a beneficial reading method when done correctly.

Here are 5 tips to read faster without losing your comprehension on the subject matter:

1. Preview the text first.

Skim and scan the entire text, and look for important headings and sub-headings to give you an initial idea of the overall topic. This helps you quickly gain an understanding of what the text is before actually reading it in detail. Skimming and scanning are techniques that help you familiarize yourself with the main parts of the text, and are best applied when reading non-fiction to get you straight to the facts.

2. Read in chunks.

As little children, we started by reading word by word until we developed our reading skills into understanding sentences and, eventually, paragraphs. It is good to use your peripheral vision when viewing texts to catch more words with one reading. Rather than reading word by word, try reading three to five words at once by moving your eyes in a scanning motion. You’ll be surprised that you are now able to increase your reading speed through this practice.

3. Minimize re-reading texts repeatedly.

Make it a point to comprehend the texts right away whenever your eyes pass by them. Going back to the sentences or paragraphs you have previously read because you forgot what they meant could lengthen your reading time. This would not be beneficial as there will be a tendency to mix up the topics and timeline in your head. Break this habit by passing by each sentence and fully comprehending its meaning to avoid re-reading.

4. Increase and improve your vocabulary.

Improving your vocabulary increases your reading speed since you are more familiar with the words and their meanings. You wouldn’t have to consult a dictionary every time you encounter an unfamiliar word. Thus, giving you faster reading times. This also helps you move on with texts much faster without the need of re-reading them again.

5. Read MORE.

Reading faster with comprehension takes time to develop. The more you read, the better you will become as a reader. Set reading goals and always practice reading different genres to make you a well-rounded reader. Most importantly, find enjoyment in every text you read with the intention of learning something with the texts you encounter.

Kumon is the world's leading after-school enrichment program. We offer two subjects: Math and Reading in more than 300 Kumon Centers nationwide.

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