Reading for CollegeHow to read FasterAND more effectivelyDr Haroon Rashid
HaroonReading for collegeFirst, let’s talk aboutreading speedThis is not about trying to read as FASTas you can . . .. . . It is about learning to readas effectively as you can
Test your reading speedOkay, now for some math: Count the number of words in ten lines and writethat down; now divide that number by 10. That is the averagenumber of words per line. Write it down; now count the number of lines you read andwrite it on a piece of paper. Write it down;Haroon
Test your reading speed multiply that number by the number of words per line,and you have roughly how many words you read.Write down the number you get You read for ten minutes. Divide the total numbersof words you read by 10 and you have your words-per-minute. Write it down.
Assessing your findingsHaroonRPM Status<120 wpm Poor, slow121-180 wpm Below average181-240 wpm Average241-350 wpm College level if good retention351-500 Above average501-1000 Superior>1000 Genius
Main causes of slower reading word-by-word reading; slow perceptual reaction time,i.e., slowness of recognition; vocalization—habitual or forcomprehension; Inefficient eye movements; Regression; faulty habits of attention andconcentration;Haroon
Main causes of slower reading lack of practice in reading—especially large amounts; fear of losing comprehension; habitual slow reading; poor evaluation of whichaspects are important and whichare unimportant; the effort to remembereverything rather than toremember selectively.
So now what? There are three main factors involved inimproving reading speed:(1) the desire to improve,(2) the willingness to try new techniques, and(3) the motivation to practice. The average college student reads about 350 wordsper minute. A "good" reading speed is around 500 to700 words per minute, but some people can read athousand words per minute.What makes the difference?Haroon
So now what? Most people can double their readingspeed while still maintaining equal oreven higher comprehension. Warning: In order to learn to read rapidly and well youmust have acquired the necessary vocabulary. When you can understand college-levelmaterials, you are ready to practice readingfaster.
Strategies for effective reading Pre-Read: Skim the piece looking for sub-headings, images, graphs etc. Try to get asense of what the reading is about.You can call this READING FOR PLOT(like reading the end of a mystery novelbefore you get there); Pre-think: ask yourself some questions thatthis reading might answer, things on thesyllabus perhaps, or from the lecture. ThinkBEFORE you read.You can call this CREATIVE THINKING;Haroon
Strategies for effective reading Read in blocks: Read several words atonce (a phrase, half a line, or a full line intextbooks with columns); Pause ONLY at the end of sections. Don’treread, but jot down what you remember atthe end of each section. You can go backand reread at the end.Don’t wait for the action replay. Just read! If you find yourself falling asleep--take a nap! DO NOT keep reading.It is a waste of time. Just give it upfor a bit.
A Trip Down Memory LaneSEESPOTRUNSPOTLICKS. . . No . . . LIKESSPOT LIKESTHEBALL.Haroon
A Trip Down Memory Lane Before that you sounded letters.R - E - M - E - M - B - E - RokayRE - MEM - BERREMEMBER!!!Haroon
Tricks for successful reading Reading one word at a time in college is likesounding out letters or parts of words. It TAKES TOO LONGInstead . . . Read in blocks: Read several wordsat once (a phrase, half a line, or a fullline in textbooks with columns);We are going to practice thisHaroon
Tricks for successful reading Think about how much effort it takes for your eyes tofocus on EACH WORD AT A TIME!Let’s play the focus game for a minute. Focus on something a longway away, now focus on something close up. Now look to your leftand focus. Now to your right. Now close up again.It took time for you to focus, right? That same process is occurringevery time you FOCUS on a word if you read word-by-word. See?? It TAKES TOO LONG Your eyes get TIREDREAD IN CLUMPS (clauses, phrases) Let your eyes settle on several words at once (aphrase, half a line, or a full line in textbooks withcolumns). SEE the words, but don’t move your eyesor say them.Haroon
Tricks for successful reading Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half Place it under a line of text If the text is in columns, put a dot on thepiece of paper in the middle of the line• As you read, move the piece of paper down the page so itis always under the line you are reading. Look at the DOT and SEE the words, but do not SAY themHaroon
HaroonUsing the eye-guide•Move the eye-guide downthe page as you read.•One line at a time.•Focus on the dot, and justsee the wordsArticle source:www.sedl.org/reading/topics/brainreading.pdf.
Here are the other tricks Vocabulary - Wait until youve finished reading tolook up unfamiliar words. (If you stop, youllreduce your level of comprehension.) Comprehension - to improve comprehension,repeat the main points of the chapter after closingthe book. See how many specific details you canrecall. The more you interact with your text, themore youll recall. Recollection andcomprehension require a vigorous approach. Practice 1: Skimming & Scanning - find aninteresting newspaper column or magazinearticle. Rapidly read the article, sampling just thefirst sentence or two of each paragraph and a fewkey words. Jot down all the facts you canremember. Then reread the article slowly, givingyourself a point for every item you can recall.Haroon
Now YOU need to practice…The Basic Program: Two or three times a day, read somethingyou enjoy for 15 to 20 minutes withoutstopping. Time yourself to within 30seconds. Record your reading rate and chart yourprogress. Recording and charting areessential if you wish to make real progress. Push yourself gently as you read. If yourmind wanders, get it back on track.Haroon
Now YOU need to practice… Set reading-rate goals for yourself. Aimfor a 10% increase in your reading rateover the previous record. Practice skimming & scanning by findingan interesting newspaper column ormagazine article and rapidly reading thearticle, sampling just the first sentence ortwo of each paragraph and a few keywords. Jot down all the facts you canremember. Then reread the article slowly,giving yourself a point for every item youcan recall. READ YOUR TEXBOOKS ACTIVELY!
REVIEW:TO ACTIVE READ YOU: Ask general beginning questions; Set a purpose by pre-viewing achapter, and deciding what you hopeto learn; Guide yourself through the reading byskimming first, looking at its length,sub-headings (the plot), images,charts and graphs, etc.; Make notes, highlight, and summarizeAFTER the reading is done! AND BECOME MORE EFFECTIVE!!!Haroon
HaroonOkay, let’s try this• Go back to the same piece you readat the beginning.• Take the piece of paper (your eyeguide) and put it under the first line.• Reread this piece,• Move your eye guide down thepage looking at the dot and justseeing the words.• I’ll stop you after ten minutes.
HaroonFinallyThe key to rapid reading•Consciously try to read faster.•Consciously force your eyes to moveand work at ever higher and higherspeeds.Rapid reading ismaking your eyes and brain worktogether to process words at ahigh rate of speed.