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11 steps to improve your Reading Speed

Jagran Josh

Since, your MBA Entrances are on head, I think this topic becomes vital: "How to improve reading speed". Well, I would say, even if one steps out of CAT exam, this learning is worth taking. And, the after-results will surely help you life-long.

Reading is a skill that is way too important in one's life. Why??? I don't think that this question needs to be explained, but to summarize, it is because of the following mentioned reasons:

1. Reading is elementary to function in today's society;

2. It helps develops minds. What exercise is to body, reading is to mind.

3. Reading helps improve you on communication part. If you are good at reading, obviously, the purpose of writing is fulfilled, i.e. convey of message.

4. Reading helps in unearthing new things. In this era of words, magazines, newspaper, social media, internet, when all is full with new and unknown tips and facts, why stop?

“Read, read, and read more to know it all…”

Written words have a power. As you read, you give thoughts to the same, imagine at times, thus a process starts which add to your intellect and sometimes to the changes, one wish to discover.

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Reading can do a lot of things and cast benefits to you, a few are mentioned above. Now there comes the importance of reading fast. The slower you read, the faster you miss on knowing more.

What good it would be if you could read 1 and a half paragraph in the same time as you took for reading the 1 paragraph? A bigger picture in the same time can help you do well in the exams, career, and life. An average student can read 250-300 words per minute, whereas 500-700 words per minute is considered as the good speed.

So, here we are going to read some tips to improving your reading speed

11 steps to improve your Reading Speed

Subvocalisation is the lip movement with no voice which is generally observed when a person is reading slowly or calls the word in his/her head. Reading the word aloud in head slows down your speed. It takes more time than it should actually do. So, get rid of it. Observe yourself and know if you really do it. Admitting and knowing solves half the problems. Then, practice not speaking it in mind. Practice till you are able to completely be off it. Instead of reading word by word, read blocks of words, that is really helpful.

How to Quickly Solve Reading Comprehension Questions

Okay, so this important. Do not read each word separately. The reason being not only it slows down the speed but also that you might tend to lose on the overall concept or idea that is being explained. As mentioned in above point, read words in blocks. Try to read a phrase or sentence in one go, rather than one word individually. Do not keep the material lose to your eyes while reading. It tends to slower your pace. Maintain an apt distance between your eyes and the reading material.

It is you falling into re-reading. Sometimes, you might skip on the actual line and word you have been reading and tend to re-read words. Using pointer could help. But make sure, the pointer runs smooth and fast enough. A slow moving pointer can slow down your reading speed.

There are times, when you are just reading. You might even say the word aloud but lost in another world, a state of sub-consciousness. To improve on concentration, first of all, stop multi-tasking at reading. Remove any sort of distractions.

Sometimes, a person tends to cover very little of whatever is written or sometimes tries to cover the entire page. Avoid it. Glance at once on the entire page, and then move your eyes at a good pace over the lines. Soften your look. Again, see block of words, rather than individual words.

While one reads, sometimes makes sure that he/she remembers everything. However, in this process, the real idea behind reading is lost, which is getting the main idea or concept of the article/passage, etc.  So, develop the attitude of remembering selectively. Not all you read could be worthy. Make sure you get the idea and the message intended.

So, as far as now, we have been through what all could hamper your reading pace. Now, let's take look at few other tips which could actually increase your reading speed.

Skimming is actually scanning. It's more like reading the headings first and then the facts under them. For this, first read the titles, headings, sub-headings, beginning and end of the section; then you could circle or highlight the important ones, please don't go for a proper circle with exact radii at any point, remember, you tend to increase the speed of your

reading and not decrease it; examine the pictures/diagrams well. All this helps you to figure out the concept behind the text and then while reading thoroughly you will be better able to join dots.

Track your reading pace. Note the number of words you have been able to read within a time span. Then, set a target time which is lower than the same. Try to read it again within the set target. Repeat this exercise daily. Try reading different genre. Go out of your comfort zone. Read, read, and read a lot.

Reading at the later part of day, you might realise you are not working well on the efficiency. It could be due to the reason that you are already tired and your brain needs to rest. Reading at early time of the day could be a good option. You could start this way and then take your habit to the next level by shifting the time from day to night, as moving out of comfort zone makes things better, if not sooner, but later.

Chose easy material to start with. Something that is easy to understand and read. Then challenge with books which have quite tougher language. And keep on challenging yourself.

Make sure you have a proper vision. Get your eyes checked.  Go for spectacles if prescribed. Do not read in dim light. Make sure that the text font is neither too large nor too small.

Now, let's understand why reading at fast speed is important from CAT perspective. In the CAT exams, there are two comprehension passages, out of which at least one passage requires higher level of intellect. For the person, who is not into reading, the passages alone might take a lot of time. Also, sometimes, in very extreme cases, get the comprehension he/she has already read or have views around. Moreover, not having a habit of reading might cause chaos on the D-day, in case you are not used to the out of comfort zone reading.

Can you afford wasting enough time when you already know CAT is about time, speed, and accuracy?


I hope this helps you overcome your speeding pace. Keep reading, keep learning, and keep sharing.

In the end, I would like to quote beautiful lines by George Bernard Shaw:

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”

I think, this is self-explanatory as to why reading more is important, and you can read more, if you read it at a faster pace, cutting on the time.

Enjoy reading….

More Reading Comprehension Exercises

1. Reading Comprehension- Practice Set 1

2. Reading Comprehension- Practice Set 2

3. Reading Comprehension- Practice Set 3

4. Reading Comprehension- Practice Set 4

5. Reading Comprehension- Practice Set 5

6. Reading Comprehension- Practice Set 6

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