Speed Reading Test

Instructions:

1. Read all the instructions before begining
2. Press the start button below these instructions, and immediately begin to read the article.
3. As you read the article, scroll down the text page until you come to the stop button.
4. Press the stop button as soon as you finish the article
5. Answer the questions that follow the article.

Stopwatch

Beginning of text:

This test is about reading. Or more importantly, how efficiently you deal with reading material. Do you know your reading speed? Do you know how much you comprehend? Most people cannot answer these questions. If they do try to answer they often get it wrong. In a recent literacy survey nearly 60% of Australians who thought their reading skills were good, in fact had below average skills. Yet business people, professionals and students spend large parts of every day reading.

For many people, reading is often a frustrating and time-consuming activity. Most don't find the time to read all the paperwork that comes their way, and frequently have difficulty remembering what they read. But it needn't be so! Everyone who can read is able to dramatically improve their reading skills by doing a speed reading type course.

Speed reading courses have been around for more than 30 years, but most people still don't know how they work. They work because they are simple - they teach skills that are in fact more natural for mature readers to use. They work because your brain's ability to process information has gone way beyond you current reading skills.

Most adults read somewhere between 200 and 250 words per minute. Yet your brain can easily process information at more than 2 to 3 times this rate. This gap between your "thinking speed" and "reading speed" leads to poor concentration (daydreaming!) and reduced comprehension. Therefore, if you read faster using proper techniques your concentration and comprehension actually improve.

Speed reading techniques are designed to increase reading speed by increasing the efficiency of your eye movements. If you watch someone reading, you will probably notice that their eyes do not move smoothly. Rather, their eyes will stop momentarily to focus on every word. Stopping on every word slows the reader considerably. By better using their peripheral vision good readers have fewer stops, or fixations per line. The fewer the stops, the faster you go!

As well as stopping on every word, most readers re-read many of the words in each line. Called regression, this re-reading can actually take up to 35% of a reader's total eye movements. Not only do these excessive eye movements slow the reader down, they result in the words (and ideas) being sent to the brain out of the order in which they were written. This jumble adds to confusion, and causes fatigue.

However, speed reading courses do much more than simply change your physical reading skills. They recognise that good readers read for ideas. They recognise that the words used by the author are merely the vehicle for getting the message across. Improving your reading means gaining a better understanding of how meaning is transmitted in the English language.

Good readers recognise that there are key words which convey much more meaning than others. They also recognise that they can understand words without having to resort to word-by-word eye movements. Good readers also know how to use the organisational structure used by writers to maximise understanding. This results in good readers using a range of reading strategies which take into account both the nature of the written material and the purpose for which it is being read.

The benefits of speed reading are many. Perhaps the greatest benefit is that speed reading can give you more of what is rapidly becoming our most precious commodity ~ time. More time to spend as you choose - whether it be for leisure, family, increased work output or improved academic results.

As well, speed reading allows you to read with better comprehension and retention of information. No more hassles, frustrations or complications caused by confusion and misinterpretation. The flow of ideas will be improved when you combine thoughtful reading strategies with more efficient eye movements. These more efficient eye movements will also result in a reduction of fatigue.

But most importantly, you will benefit from an increased confidence in your reading ability. This confidence will allow you to deal with your reading workload efficiently, secure in the knowledge that you haven't missed anything in what you've read and that you've read it in the quickest possible time.

Reading improvement makes good sense in this age of information overload!

End of text!

Questions:

When answering these questions, please remember you are being asked about what the author said in the article. This may be different from your own opinion based upon your general knowledge.

1. According to the recent survey, how many readers overestimated their reading ability?

2. Speed reading techniques increase reading speed by:

3. When they read, most average readers' eyes:

4. Average readers constantly re-read many of the words in each line. How many of a reader's total eye movements does this take?

5. The author recommends that readers improve their peripheral vision by:

6. Good readers:

7. Good readers use a variety of reading strategies. They select the appropriate strategy by:

8. The average person reads at between 200 and 250 words per minute. How much faster can the brain easily process information?

9. Speed reading courses work because:

10. Benefits of speed reading courses include: