Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes

hipster man in trilby hat with t-shirt that says "i like words" reading a newspaper while sitting on a loading dock.

(Photo: Dustin Diaz)

How much more could you get done if you completed all of your required reading in 1/3 or 1/5 the time?

Increasing reading speed is a process of controlling fine motor movement—period.

This post is a condensed overview of principles I taught to undergraduates at Princeton University in 1998 at a seminar called the “PX Project”. The below was written several years ago, so it’s worded like Ivy-Leaguer pompous-ass prose, but the results are substantial. In fact, while on an airplane in China two weeks ago, I helped Glenn McElhose increase his reading speed 34% in less than 5 minutes.

I have never seen the method fail. Here’s how it works…

The PX Project

The PX Project, a single 3-hour cognitive experiment, produced an average increase in reading speed of 386%.

It was tested with speakers of five languages, and even dyslexics were conditioned to read technical material at more than 3,000 words-per-minute (wpm), or 10 pages per minute. One page every 6 seconds. By comparison, the average reading speed in the US is 200-300 wpm (1/2 to 1 page per minute), with the top 1% of the population reading over 400 wpm…

If you understand several basic principles of the human visual system, you can eliminate inefficiencies and increase speed while improving retention.

To perform the exercises in this post and see the results, you will need: a book of 200+ pages that can lie flat when open, a pen, and a timer (a stop watch with alarm or kitchen timer is ideal). You should complete the 20 minutes of exercises in one session.

First, several definitions and distinctions specific to the reading process:

A) Synopsis: You must minimize the number and duration of fixations per line to increase speed.

You do not read in a straight line, but rather in a sequence of saccadic movements (jumps). Each of these saccades ends with a fixation, or a temporary snapshot of the text within you focus area (approx. the size of a quarter at 8 inches from reading surface). Each fixation will last ¼ to ½ seconds in the untrained subject. To demonstrate this, close one eye, place a fingertip on top of that eyelid, and then slowly scan a straight horizontal line with your other eye-you will feel distinct and separate movements and periods of fixation.

B) Synopsis: You must eliminate regression and back-skipping to increase speed.

The untrained subject engages in regression (conscious rereading) and back-skipping (subconscious rereading via misplacement of fixation) for up to 30% of total reading time.

C) Synopsis: You must use conditioning drills to increase horizontal peripheral vision span and the number of words registered per fixation.

Untrained subjects use central focus but not horizontal peripheral vision span during reading, foregoing up to 50% of their words per fixation (the number of words that can be perceived and “read” in each fixation).

The Protocol

You will 1) learn technique, 2) learn to apply techniques with speed through conditioning, then 3) learn to test yourself with reading for comprehension.

These are separate, and your adaptation to the sequencing depends on keeping them separate. Do not worry about comprehension if you are learning to apply a motor skill with speed, for example. The adaptive sequence is: technique ‘ technique with speed ‘ comprehensive reading testing.

As a general rule, you will need to practice technique at 3x the speed of your ultimate target reading speed. Thus, if you currently read at 300 wpm and your target reading speed is 900 wpm, you will need to practice technique at 2,700 words-per-minute, or 6 pages per minute (10 seconds per page).

We will cover two main techniques in this introduction:

1) Trackers and Pacers (to address A and B above)

2) Perceptual Expansion (to address C)

First – Determining Baseline

To determine your current reading speed, take your practice book (which should lay flat when open on a table) and count the number of words in 5 lines. Divide this number of words by 5, and you have your average number of words-per-line.

Example: 62 words/5 lines = 12.4, which you round to 12 words-per-line

Next, count the number of text lines on 5 pages and divide by 5 to arrive at the average number of lines per page. Multiply this by average number of words-per-line, and you have your average number of words per page.

Example: 154 lines/5 pages = 30.8, rounded to 31 lines per page x 12 words-per-line = 372 words per page

Mark your first line and read with a timer for 1 minute exactly-do not read faster than normal, and read for comprehension. After exactly one minute, multiply the number of lines by your average words-per-line to determine your current words-per-minute (wpm) rate.

Second – Trackers and Pacers

Regression, back-skipping, and the duration of fixations can be minimized by using a tracker and pacer. To illustrate the importance of a tracker-did you use a pen or finger when counting the number of words or lines in above baseline calculations? If you did, it was for the purpose of tracking-using a visual aid to guide fixation efficiency and accuracy. Nowhere is this more relevant than in conditioning reading speed by eliminating such inefficiencies.

For the purposes of this article, we will use a pen. Holding the pen in your dominant hand, you will underline each line (with the cap on), keeping your eye fixation above the tip of the pen. This will not only serve as a tracker, but it will also serve as a pacer for maintaining consistent speed and decreasing fixation duration. You may hold it as you would when writing, but it is recommended that you hold it under your hand, flat against the page.

1) Technique (2 minutes):

Practice using the pen as a tracker and pacer. Underline each line, focusing above the tip of the pen. DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH COMPREHENSION. Keep each line to a maximum of 1 second, and increase the speed with each subsequent page. Read, but under no circumstances should you take longer than 1 second per line.

2) Speed (3 minutes):

Repeat the technique, keeping each line to no more than ½ second (2 lines for a single “one-one-thousand”). Some will comprehend nothing, which is to be expected. Maintain speed and technique-you are conditioning your perceptual reflexes, and this is a speed exercise designed to facilitate adaptations in your system. Do not decrease speed. ½ second per line for 3 minutes; focus above the pen and concentrate on technique with speed. Focus on the exercise, and do not daydream.

Third – Perceptual Expansion

If you focus on the center of your computer screen (focus relating to the focal area of the fovea in within the eye), you can still perceive and register the sides of the screen. Training peripheral vision to register more effectively can increase reading speed over 300%. Untrained readers use up to ½ of their peripheral field on margins by moving from 1st word to last, spending 25-50% of their time “reading” margins with no content.

To illustrate, let us take the hypothetical one line: “Once upon a time, students enjoyed reading four hours a day.” If you were able to begin your reading at “time” and finish the line at “four”, you would eliminate 6 of 11 words, more than doubling your reading speed. This concept is easy to implement and combine with the tracking and pacing you’ve already practiced.

1) Technique (1 minute):

Use the pen to track and pace at a consistent speed of one line per second. Begin 1 word in from the first word of each line, and end 1 word in from the last word.

DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH COMPREHENSION. Keep each line to a maximum of 1 second, and increase the speed with each subsequent page. Read, but under no circumstances should you take longer than 1 second per line.

2) Technique (1 minute):

Use the pen to track and pace at a consistent speed of one line per second. Begin 2 words in from the first word of each line, and end 2 words in from the last word.

3) Speed (3 minutes):

Begin at least 3 words in from the first word of each line, and end 3 words in from the last word. Repeat the technique, keeping each line to no more than ½ second (2 lines for a single “one-one-thousand”).

Some will comprehend nothing, which is to be expected. Maintain speed and technique-you are conditioning your perceptual reflexes, and this is a speed exercise designed to facilitate adaptations in your system. Do not decrease speed. ½ second per line for 3 minutes; focus above the pen and concentrate on technique with speed. Focus on the exercise, and do not daydream.

Fourth – Calculate New WPM Reading Speed

Mark your first line and read with a timer for 1 minute exactly- Read at your fastest comprehension rate. Multiply the number of lines by your previously determined average words-per-line to get determine your new words-per-minute (wpm) rate.

Congratulations on completing your cursory overview of some of the techniques that can be used to accelerate human cognition (defined as the processing and use of information).

Final recommendations: If used for study, it is recommended that you not read 3 assignments in the time it would take you to read one, but rather, read the same assignment 3 times for exposure and recall improvement, depending on relevancy to testing.

Happy trails, page blazers.

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859 Replies to “Scientific Speed Reading: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes”

  1. This is Great!! I spent less that 15 minutes on your site and In minutes I went from 165 to 330 wpm.

    Although I’m not quite sure if I truly comprehended everything I read in the final step but I’m sure with a little practice I’ll be OK.

    This is Awesome! As far as reading for study or comprehension, even when I read at my slowest (normal) speed I always go back and re-read at least 3 times 1st to kinda scan make sure I know all the words (kinda dumb but..) 2nd. to grasp what’s going on and 3rd for complete comprehension and retention. It’s always worked but very time consuming

    Hopefully Now, I can still do that using your technique.

    I Bookmark you and comeback in a month or 2 with an update.

  2. Sean Ring told a story about a deaf student who read at 1500 wpm because he doesn’t sound words.

    Now bear with me here, this is just a thought… By looking at the way you would teach a deaf person (one who was born that way) to read, and applying that to someone who can actually hear, but doing it with a different set of characters, like some made up characters, would it be possible to learn to read without vocalizing in that different character set? And if so, would that same skill be later transferable to our alphabet?

    I suppose you might be able to do that while studying braille. Maybe learning a kinesthetic language would have some other positive effect. Well, I guess being able to read in the dark is pretty positive.

    A note on comprehension: I know you left it open ended here, but on other sources ‘measuring comprehension’ is done by having a test of details within a book that you’re supposed to remember. I just find that kind of test silly. It’s a test of your ability to remember details, not your ability to comprehend the words, individually or as they fit together.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one that has a brain that keeps the details it likes, and throws everything else out.

  3. I just did these exercises a few times for my new blog. For the blog my brother and I are doing a new life challenge every week and writing about it. If you want to see the results go to the site my name links to. You rock Tim!

  4. hey tim,

    I’ve read ur blog and its really helpful. there’s just one thing that concerned me most-

    HOW TO ELIMINATE WORD READING IN MY MIND?

    i’ve been trying different methods already but it doesnt work..

    if you or somebody here could reply as soon as possible, i would be grateful. im catching things up before this week ends my exam. thank you!

  5. Wow this really does work im just a kid but i can read so much faster now my grades improve and now im so smart thanks tim you are a cool guy

  6. tim, where is the source material for this article. any published data on this method or the 3hr cognitive experiment conducted?

  7. Hey, I don’t mean to be rude, but sincerly, this didn’t work for me, and I was dissapointed that I not only wasted half an hour, but also that I wasn’t able to increase my speed.

    1. Just some food for thought… not trying to preach…

      If it didn’t work for you, this is pretty simple to reconcile.

      It didn’t work for me the first time I did it, but I went back to it a few times over a few different weeks and ended up having great results.

      If you really “want it”, practice it…

      Things like this require “you to work for it”, not “it to work for you”…

      (Stupid wood stove, give me some heat, then I’ll throw in some kindling!)

      If you don’t really “want it”, move on to something else you do want… and work for that instead.

      Either way you’ll have to work for anything good before it will work for you…

  8. People spend their entire lives “teaching” themselves to read slowly – then expect to unlearn this bad habit in 10 minutes. It’s like any other worthwhile exercise… you have to work for it people. Some have to work harder than others. If it doesn’t work for you – work harder.

  9. I have to say that I am hesitant to try and read faster because I think it would affect my enjoyment of what I am reading. For the purpose of completing reading assignments in school I can definitely see the benefit though. As a side note, thanks for introducing me to the word “saccadic.” I will have to introduce it into my vocabulary.

  10. Thanks a lot for this tutorial. Is this a technique you should practice everyday to improve your reading skills or should you practice with the comprehension reading.

  11. Hello! I would just like to say that I am SO happy that I came across this blog! I just attempted this technique and it helped me raise over 2x my original WPM. I knew I read slow, but this brought it to my attention that I read waay slower than average (111 WPM). I am hoping more practice with this will raise it even more! I was also wondering the same thing as Daniel, should we practice each piece of the three sections every time or…?

    Thank you so much and keep up the good work!

  12. I have always been a fast reader but it always came natural to me; I never tried by just reading the first and last few words of a sentence before. I find the concept extremely interesting; however it would take a while before I can understand or comprehend anything using this method!

  13. Hi, what would you do to improve more once you’ve done the initial steps given here? I imagine, you can’t get to 3000 wpm with just this

  14. Dear Tim,

    I’m running a research programme on gesturing for learning, so was intrigued to see your arguments about using a pointer (pen or finger) to guide attention as part of the PX Project. Would you be able to point me to any peer-reviewed papers about either the principles underlying the programme, or an randomised controlled trial of the programme itself?

  15. Hi Tim

    I just tested thoroughly the above exercise.

    I am f-ing amazed, because doing exactly as you reported, I got these results:

    Initial wpm: 230

    Final wpm: 490 ( and I understood everything )

    Thank you!!

    Dima from Italy

  16. hey Tim,

    i experimented on my self earlier when having to read books for school.

    i was reading 50 pages/h in english (im german), but what i noticed is that i wasn’t able to keep my focus for more than 60 minutes sometimes just 20-30.

    does it get easier when performed continously? or do you have special tricks?

  17. There’s some really good ideas here. The only thing I would caution is to use the pen-across-the-paper technique to start yourself off with, but don’t use it as a crutch. I know too many people who have trained themselves too hard with that one tip, and can barely read without it.

  18. Awesome pulp fiction reference regarding comment rules. I hope you don’t mind if I use it on my own blog!

    And the advice you give is spot on! So many programs try to sell expensive courses to teach just simple techniques that anyone can practice at home.

  19. What a great step by step guide. Loving it. We have to read synopsis and analysis of more than 100 pages everyday and sometimes many per day. This technique should help us decrease our time at it and increase our efficiencies, in turn.

    Thanks.

    Ashish

  20. Hi Tim,

    That was amazing! I’ve been a slow reader my whole life, and I just doubled my WPM in 20 minutes. I assume you’ve been a speed-reader for years now — do you have to keep practicing your technique in order to stay fast, or does being speed-reader just become a natural habit over time? If the latter, how long did it take you?

    Thanks Again,

    Jonah

    1. Hey Jonah,

      Practice and with time you will get your speeds up. I teach speed reading and the only students I find that excel dramatically in one class are those that read 8 hours a day for their jobs. The speed will come with time.

  21. I can see where these techniques will take practice. As one who creates training programs for a Christian coach training school, I read continually. I can see where these techniques are going to be very helpful to saving time. Thanks for posting this information.

    Leelo Bush, PhD

  22. Hi, I will be a Junior in high school after the summer is over. I am a very slow reader and I would like to work on increasing my reading speed. It would help me not only for reading materials for school, but also for reading for pleasure.

    I have one question on the technique you’ve described. When you said to use a pen as a tracker or pacer and underline the text while maintaining your focus on the tip of the pen, are you suppose to “track” or follow the tip of the pen with your eyes? If that is the case how does fixation work? Isn’t fixation focusing on one place and then jerking your eyes to the next point? If you focus on the tip of the pen, your eyes will naturally follow the pen and it will be more like scanning or skimming the line with your eyes than fixing your eyes on one point than another.

    1. It’s about adjusting the speed of the pen so that you are able to go faster but not too fast to the point where you are not able to take in the words with comprehension. Try increasing the speed gradually. I read at about 600wpm but it comes with practice

  23. Tim,

    Can I call you guru-gal {meaning teacher in Sanskrit}; and why not because you taught me so much about how to read. These days I started to feel that I was dyslexic, because I couldn’t understand a sentence though it was a very simple sentence, which even a below average student could understand easily. Being a topper, I had to perform well to live the expectations of my teacher and my parents. You helped to cope with this problem {though I continue to face this problem a little bit}. Thanks a lot for that. But still I need your solutions because the problem is not yet solved. Hope, you are gonna help me.

    Yours obedient

  24. But how does one increase comprehension rate? Does it come naturally with better technique and scanning speed, or are other faculties involved?

  25. Hi!

    This is just to thank you, U didn’t change my life because the only person u could change my life was myself, but u show me there was a way. Ur books came into my life when I left everything back in Costa Rica and came to China, to start everything all over again, from learning the language to remind myself that my mommy was not around and what do I buy in the supermarket now??? Exciting at the beginning but when the days start going by without progress u freak out and ask “what the hell did I just did?”

    China is difficult but great, and I have the impression from what I read and see that u like it. Hunan, where I live, it’s great too, u should try it, it will be nice to seeing u around.

    Keep going Tim, Pura Vida,

    Gaby

  26. Wow! That was awesome to read the science behind the speed reading.I have checked a few sites regarding this topic but couldn’t be able to apprehend most of the points that were mentioned but I must say your post is certainly very comprehensive and it actually works as I have practiced for a short.In short,thanks!

  27. I went from 120 wpm to maybe 200, mostly depends on the text. The first time I tried it I felt like a genius. Looking back it felt as if I was reading at 350 wpm. I could read groups of words at once. One line only needed two glances. I suddenly just had the urge to drop the pen then I read fluently with good comprehension, however it seems to be something I can’t really call upon whenever I want to.

    Maybe some practice would be needed to be able to accomplish my 350 consistently, or at least be my normal speed. If you would add more tips it would really be appreciated. My normal reading seem to be still a word-per-word thing however gotten a lot faster and I still need to exert some effort to achieve 200 wpm from 120.

  28. Tim,

    I went from reading 300 wpm to 710 wpm! After about 45 minutes of practice. But that was maybe 70% comprehension. I’ve settled down to a comfortable 640 wpm, and that seems somewhere like 90-95% comp.

    Thanks!

    — KP

  29. A ton of fluff, fillers and introductions. I read a lot of this piece and still got nowhere near what you’re trying to say, which is probably near the end I guess. This isn’t a book; it’s the net. Internet articles should be short and straight to the point. No one is going to read all this. Thanks anyway for trying at least.

  30. Thanks for the information. Now I learned how to read fast…

    I think I can read faster now… hehe

    than you very much and God Bless…

  31. Great post. Very inspiring. I’m amazed at the results. I’ve been practicing this over the past months and it’s doing wonders. I’ve literally found a better new job because of this read and reread technique that you mentioned near the end. I’m finally being able to understand articles about electronics, science, sports, etc because of this. It also increased my ability to make complex structures of phrases tenfold. You should be awarded a prize for this man!

  32. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else experiencing problems with your website. It seems like some of the written text within your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This could be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen before. Kudos

  33. Hii Tim,

    Impressed by the speed reading techniques in your article..

    Particularly interested in increasing my visual span..

    You have not mentioned , as to how long does it take to develop this skill?

    How often and and how long one must practice to see a decent result..

    Looking forward to your reply..

    Rosy

  34. Hm… Funny how this post is called the science of speed reading, but mentions or references no scientific studies. I really want speed reading to be more than a myth, which is why this post excited me, but after spending a few hours researching what literature is available on this topic, it really doesn’t seem that convincing. That’s too bad, people could do with more knowledge in their heads from being able to read faster.

  35. AAAA! why didnt i find this earlier! i have been trawling through research articles on pubmed and its taking forever. This might actually mean ill get a nights sleep today.

    Thanks

  36. Thank you for the informative tips and exercises. I just started this exercise and my eyes become a little sore/numb the next day. A reader has mentioned using a software as a course to keep track of their progress. I wanted to take it further so I went ahead and used ace reader. Will let you and everyone know if a paid software is worth it or just stick to your method.

  37. Very, very interesting and detailed points given here. All of your points are well explained and specific, unlike most of the speed reading articles which are too common and general to read. Should have stumbled your site much earlier! 😀

    1. 603 to 1575! God I wish I looked at this sooner since I was skeptical about speed reading and felt like I had to read every single word in my textbook.

      I have large medical textbooks to read for school. I was on a flight and my carry-on baggage weighed too much. After removing my book, my bag was 11 pounds lighter.

      I can’t wait for school to be over. In the meantime, Tim you’ve always inspired me with your style of experimentation and pursuit of efficiency. It’s really attractive and energizing!

      What are everyone’s opinions on using bookstands while speed reading? I still feel my neck cramping and my cervical spine best awkwardly forward. Maybe my head is just too heavy!!

  38. I started up pretty slow. My initial speed was 158 WPM, which is lower than the average. Now I have determined to take it to at least 600WPM and then further.

    Your article is going to help me a lot, not only in increasing speed, but also to understand the whole mechanism, which was very informative.

    Just wish me luck to reach my goal.

  39. Hi Tim,

    I am taking the LSAT in October and thus I need to read quickly and understand structure as well as content. The major issue with the LSAT is the time associated to read and select the correct answer in the alloted time period, usually under a minute per question. Any advise or method that could assist in reading fast but capturing key structural and content indicators. All are welcome to comment. Thanks

  40. I am have never been the fastest reader, but I love reading anyway for enjoyment and enlightenment. After doing Tim’s simple steps i went from 192 wpm to 328 wpm. And I will keep on going! Thanks Tim

  41. I’m having trouble figuring out the meaning of when it talks about saccadic movements. If you don’t need to read in a straight line what is then the technique? Going back and forth? Peering ahead?

    Just require some clarification.

    Many thanks

  42. Thank you…I must try I am 50 years old and I started to read more now that I have more time. Children are all grown and moved out I have a collection of books I wanted to read I will definitely try this.

    Thanks for posting.

  43. I just did this and it only helped a little. If I’m going to increase my wpm by 300% I think it’s going to take implementing these techniques every day for a couple weeks, not just reading this article and a few pages out of a book.

  44. Hi Tim,

    This is a very interesting post and I will be implementing it for this summer or what is left of it. I need to step up my game for my final year at law and I’m sure that this technique if applied correctly by me will do the trick.

    Regards,

    N.P

  45. This didn’t work for me. I really wanted it to work. I don’t even know what I’m doing wrong. The first time I tested my WPM, I got 418 WPM and after the 20 minute exercise, I got 440 WPM. Most people are saying it worked on their first time trying this. I think I need a teacher for this. Maybe I’ll try it again some other time and see if I have better luck.

  46. This didn’t work for me. I really wanted it to work. I don’t even know what I’m doing wrong. The first time I tested my WPM, I got 418 WPM and after the 20 minute exercise, I got 440 WPM. Most people are saying it worked on their first time trying this. I think I need a teacher for this. Maybe I’ll try it again some other time and see if I have better luck.

  47. This worked far better than I was expecting. I have tried to use other speedreading programs, but because the technique was astronomically different from my own, I had an almost 230 wpm drop. This technique took my 681 wpm reading speed an rocketed it to almost 2500, precisely 2473 wpm.

    Thanks Tim

    1. Hey Alex,

      When you read, do you pronounce every word in your head? Or, after scanning the words by keeping the pace, do the words eventually stay in your memory?

  48. Dear Tim,

    it is good tecnique but fast reading will impact your understanding. Good struggle to this side but not more useful.

    i have read about Vivekanand who could read one page just in 2-3 second but ability to understand and remember was also there.

    i am not underestimating your work whatever you did is well

    thanks,

  49. I came to this to read 15k wpm, cause I already read about 5k wpm. I can because my brain/eyes do not register as twitches of the eye, but rather smooth movements to gaze over the article. Because of this, my brain has developed the ability to register up to entire paragraphs at once. It’s like my brain sees it as one word.

  50. This is a pretty great article. I’ll definitely be using the pointer technique.

    I also recommend this software called “7 Speed Reading.” I have no affiliation with them whatsoever. I did however use this software to increase my reading speed from 230 wpm to over 800 wpm in only 30 minutes. I’m looking to go even faster. Interestingly enough, some of the techniques you mentioned are also contained in the software.

  51. Awesome post. For practice do you recommend doing the whole exercise regularly or just the last part using the peripheral drills?

  52. What should I do after the first time?? My wpm increased by over 140 wpm but the second time it only increased by 44 wpm can someone please help?? I want to get around 450 wpm I currently read at 341 wpm.

  53. Hi Tim,

    I see this a very popular post with lots of comments so I tried to find the answer in the comments before asking this and could not find the answer:

    Would you mind to suggest a daily practice schedule for us?

    Something like: 1 hour per day or two sets of 30 minutes of practice… Etc…

    Obrigado,

    Daniel

  54. Hey Tim,

    For the two minute trial, when using a tracker and pacer, you said to not comprehend the context, just keep the flow. If I’m trying to pronounce each word from each line in my head, how can I do that, even without comprehending the context, if the speed is 1, 1/2, 1/4 seconds per line? Are you simply saying to scan the lines and get the most out of it that you can, during the motor exercise, in order to eventually pick up every word of every sentence and understand the context, thoroughly, with complete understanding? So, scanning at first just to keep an efficient pace, then words will soon make their way into memory in full comprehension (given we think faster than we read), once the pace is further developed?

    Thanks,

    Jack

  55. Thank you Tim! I was in the special classes for reading in elementary school and have always struggle with reading speed. I did these exercises once, and did get some results! But I’m one of those “some people won’t be able to comprehend”, so I am going to repeat until I do dag-nab-it!

    This kind of skill will be huge in helping me with research on my blog.

    Best,

    TJ

  56. Thanks Tim!

    I found these exercises to be very helpful! I was Valedictorian of my class, yet I thought that reading was a struggle for me. However, after trying these methods out I found that after spending around half an hour reading comments and completing the exercises that my wpm jumped from 228 to 408!! turns out I’ve been wasting a lot of times in the margins and rereading stuff I thought I missed but I subconsciously remembered.

  57. Nice introduction to this technique. I’ve always been curious about speed reading so I tried what you teach, I went from 290 to 600wpm, not bad. I’d stil like to learn about Photoreading though.

    Thanks,

    Christelle

  58. This is a great article.

    I am a college student. I am very slow at reading. A chapter of 30 pages takes about 1.5 hours.

    I’m blind in one eye (left). Will this work for me?

    Thank you

  59. Can anyone please tell me if they know of a speed reading course that I can take that teaches Tim’s method or is close to it. I find it easier to practice and learn in a controlled environment than to time and assign reading material to myself at home, Tim if your there any ideas, (I’m based in London) although any school close to Tim’s method may help. Thanks.

  60. WOW. so i am a slow reader at 247 wmp and after this i was up to 635wmp! i am really exited because i bet if i keep practicing this technique i could get up to 1000!!! thanks! 😀

  61. hi

    english is my third language and im reading 2 book that are more than 600 page (english language)

    every page take me 5-4 min !!! (sometimes i need to use dictionary!)

    guys do u have any tips to help me improve my speed too ?

    i mean 5 min per page is just too much!

  62. Hello! Great post Tim, I usualy read like that but I wasn’t aware untill I saw your post. It seemd to me very strange that people always tell me that I read too fast. Usefull article. Thank you!

  63. Went from about 450 to almost 600 wpm …. cool

    The biggest change I found was that there was much less ‘going back’ and re-reading stuff.

  64. Hi. I just want to know how frequent should I practice the exercises mentioned in this article? Should I practice more than once in a day?

  65. I’ve been using your speed reading tips since I first read your book. One of the best time-savers I’ve implemented over the years. I don’t know what my wpm is, but it doesn’t matter. I just know I’m able to read something faster whenever I want.

  66. I went from ~342 wpm to ~418 wpm.

    I was skeptical at first and even more so now, but I’m wondering if it’s my fault. I was going slightly slower than 1/2 sec/line on the speed portions, but I was at the same time picking up on many of the words.

    Should I have picked up my speed and disregarded understanding any of the words, just focusing on the area just above the tip of my pencil?

    I’m confused, because for 1) on the first part Tim says “DO NOT CONCERN YOURSELF WITH COMPREHENSION.” but in the same paragraph says “Read, but under no circumstances should you take longer than 1 second per line.”

    Which is it? Try to understand as much as permitted under time restraints or focus PURELY on speed in these drills?

  67. Tim, I just started digging into your book…its fantastic, unfotrunately I am a slow reader…When I came across your speed reading excersises I jumped right on it. Two questions:

    1) I always seem to read to myself and after practicing the excersises that voice just seemed to read faster…kind of feeling like a sprint and almost becoming exhausting…any suggestions here (obviously this sounds pretty out there).

    2) My WPM definitely improved nearly doubling and although I was able to comprehend the general message of the text, I feel I missed some important details…how often do you suggest practicing these excersises to truely be able to master speed reading and comprehend everything you have read?

  68. As embarrassed as I am about my baseline and even my subsequent reading speed, I feel I should post and thank you Tim.

    Although I have an IQ of 140 (genuinely tested, not some BS internet test), I have a VERY bad reading and writing ability.

    I’m pretty dyslexic (Baseline of 162 words a minute) but have been able to hugely increase my reading, although still a drop for an average person, my reading is now around 260ish WPM.

    Loads of people might laugh, but I just want to say Thanks Tim. Really appreciate it.

    For those that laughed, well done, you can read faster than me. You should be proud and make the most of it. I stay up an additional 3 hours a day to make up for it (thanks for the Sleep Hack in 4HB Tim!!!).

    1. Keep it up man! your wpm now is a huge step up from before, don’t feel embarrassed, an improvement is an improvement, no matter what..