Is it possible to learn to speed up while reading?

It seems that people never have enough time to read. That’s why so many courses, manuals, and apps advertise that they can help you read faster. But scientists say that increasing reading speed by three times and still being able to understand is unfounded.

“High speed reading is really impossible,” said Elizabeth Schotter, a cognitive scientist at the University of South Florida, USA.

Reading is a complex task that requires coordination between many nervous systems, she explains. You must first look at each word, understand its meaning and any other information related to it, its grammatical role in the sentence; relate the word to the rest of the sentence and its broader context; and then find where to direct the eye next.

Is it possible to learn to speed up while reading?
The human eye and brain have to work a lot when reading.

Sometimes a glitch in the reading process causes you to go back and read it again. A skilled reader can read about 200 to 300 words per minute. Speeding up this process while maintaining accuracy is nearly impossible, she says.

Ms. Schotter wrote a recent review on the topic: “The scientific community is fairly consistent in its skepticism about speed reading. People who claim to help people speed up are often in order to make money. from those statements”.

In 1959, Mrs. Evelyn Wood introduced the Reading Dynamics speed-up program in the US. It became so popular that Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and Carter sent administrative staff to take the course. Ms. Wood’s technique trains people to read an entire passage at once. Many other books and courses also develop similar approaches, like scanning text in a zigzag pattern. These methods suggest that our eyes make wasted movements when glancing back and forth over text, and by more streamlined our gaze can help us speed up reading.

But studies have found that vision focuses on a relatively small area when observing, making it impossible for people to fully perceive and read large lines of text at once. The limit to reading comprehension is word recognition, so correcting eye movements probably won’t help you read faster. We also need to read the words in order, so a zigzag pattern will probably decrease readability rather than increase it. As our eyes darted back and forth between the lines, there was practically no wasted motion; it really helps us to fully understand the text.

Other speed reading techniques also teach readers to suppress the inner voice when reading, on the assumption that this voice slows you down. But research shows just the opposite: this vocal rejection makes it difficult to understand what you’re reading.

In recent years, many apps have claimed that they can speed up reading without putting you through any training. These apps display text just one word at a time, word for word at a certain rate. That way, your eyes are forced to focus on the word in front of you. But again, sometimes the eyes have to turn and reread the words to fully grasp the text. And although eyes can only focus on a small area of their field of vision, research has found that your eyes pick up on important information beyond the word in focus. So it’s simply not possible if you’re only reading one word at a time.

Ms. Schotter says reading speed varies greatly from person to person. Due to various factors, some people happen to read faster. They may have better working memory or faster information processing. But the claim that people can triple their reading speed or more (for example, reading more than 15,000 words per minute, the equivalent of reading a college-level textbook in less than 6 minutes) is unrealistic. Studies have found that these speed readers don’t fully grasp the material. “Most people who claim to be speed readers are actually skimming,” Ms. Schotter said.

When you skim, you’re hunting for certain words, paragraphs, and sentences. A good reader can grasp the main ideas of a text fairly quickly – especially if they are already familiar with the topic – but they will also miss details and nuances.

So is there a way to become a faster reader? You may not be able to dramatically increase your speed, but research shows you can get a little faster by improving your vocabulary and reading more. The best thing is to spend a lot of time reading .