Are Speed Reading Courses Worth It?
We never seem to have enough time these days. With so many articles and books to read – especially the ones shared on social media – the ability to read through information faster could be a life changer.
The idea of speed reading appeals to many people who wish to process information as effectively. Improving your reading speed will allow you to go through that pile of “to be read” books faster. That’s why speed reading courses are worth the investment.
A fluent reader averages a rate of 200-400 wpm, but what if we can double or triple that rate? Faster reading speeds mean taking advantage of available reading courses.
Let’s evaluate more about speed reading courses.
What is speed reading?
Speed reading is a general term for different techniques that allow people to read texts faster. The average reading speed is 250 words per minute, but with speed reading capabilities, people can achieve a rate of up to 600 words per minute.
The main goal of speed reading is to help you consume more information than you usually would with your average speed. Thus, speed reading helps you manage time, be more productive, and helps you learn more.
Different speed reading techniques are available in reading courses, but they all have one thing in common. They break down texts into blocks instead of individual sentences and words.
Speed reading techniques then train the reader to glance at the different blocks of text. It helps you get the gist of what the writer is saying and finalize reading the whole text faster.
Most speed reading courses promise to help the reader double their reading speed. Alternatively, they’ll help you have the ability to read a specific number of words consistently, say 350 wpm to 600 wpm.
After the speed reading course, the words per minute you’ll be able to achieve are commensurate to the reading technique you’ll implement. Also, it depends on how much practice you’ll put into the speed reading technique.
Do speed reading courses actually work?
Speed reading does work. Studies show that reading speed increases with consistent practice. In addition, skimming is a valuable tool when trying to grasp information quickly.
Conversely, other scientific studies show that the process might not work very well. It depends on what you intend to achieve in speed reading. Once you hit up to 600 words per minute, your comprehension breaks down, and you get a memory overload.
Here’s the bottom line about the effectiveness of speed reading courses:
- You need to grasp the general idea of what the text says
- You’re under obligation to read the text but have little time dedicated to synthesizing the information
Given the two dimensions, speed reading can work for you. But reading at an average pace is the way to go if you need to deeply understand what a text is saying – like learning a technical concept or studying for a test.
And like anything else, speed reading is most useful when you know how and when to use it. If you’re just out to understand the fuss about reading as quickly as possible or have set goals, then taking a speed course is good for you.
Why would you need to learn speed reading?
Speed reading has enormous benefits for students, business people, and everyone that does lots of reading. With the amount of information we have to read through daily, it makes sense to invest a little more time in learning strategies for faster reading.
Let’s look into some of the reasons why you need to learn speed reading:
1. It makes you feel empowered
People judge at every possible opportunity. If you’re attending a business meeting, better reading and comprehension of the information makes you appear knowledgeable.
You need things to talk about in social circles, especially at parties. Speed reading news and events offers you lots of information for social chatting.
2. It helps you access better employment
If you desire a promotion, you have to bring something new to the table. Speed reading abilities will help you stand out from the crowd.
Also, speed reading helps improve your education. This is because you can easily manage to finish the coursework to further your educational demands.
3. It makes you more confident
How comfortable are you in the presence of your boss? Do you understand the financial news, the current marketplace, your organizational competitors, and the company at large?
Can you comfortably communicate your viewpoint to someone you already know who will disagree?
In these situations, you’re only comfortable if you’re well-read. Therefore, learning to speed read is essential.
4. It helps you remember easily
Speed reading not only makes you a fast reader, but it also gives you a better understanding as well. Also, the improved memory extends to other areas of your life.
Since memory is a part of your creativity, you become more creative as your memory improves.
5. It enhances your ability to learn
Do you have a challenge focusing on tasks? Learning speed reading helps improve your focus. You concentrate your interest on everything you read, and with enhanced creativity, you become eager to further your education.
6. It improves your way of thinking
Speed reading affects your brain’s neuroplasticity. It gives your brain the ability to map out new connections. Thus, your creativity improves, and so does your thinking.
7. It helps learn focusing as a meditative skill
Speed reading teaches you how to focus. Thus, it relieves you of stress due to inefficiency and fragmented attention. It can, therefore, be equivalent to meditation.
8. It enhances your ambitions
You become more ambitious with improved memory, the ability to focus on tasks, improved thinking, and fresh creativity. The world becomes your oyster. You become eager and ready to climb your career ladder.
9. It makes you more innovative
The more you know, the more imaginative you can get. Thought leaders in any field innovate. These leaders cross-pollinate ideas. Thus, speed reading may just be your opportunity for your billion-dollar light bulb moment. And, of course, your ability to implement the concept.
10. It enhances your problem-solving skills
Your subconscious mind helps you solve challenges. In that case, speed reading lets you stream more information to the subconscious mind. With this information, you can solve problems.
Are speed reading courses effective?
Speed reading courses are effective in teaching you how to increase your reading rate. Practice is the key factor in learning how to read faster, and knowing how to speed read will help you go through more text in the same amount of time.
The most dangerous thing in speed reading is subvocalization, as it slows you down when reading. So if you want to learn how to speed read, avoid speaking out the words in your head.
Speed reading courses become effective when you learn to recognize words visually without speaking them.
Reading 500-600 words per minute is unlikely without losing comprehension, though. The more words you can read per minute, the more you lose your comprehension ability.
Is speed reading a useful skill?
Speed reading lets you drastically increase the rate of words you can read per minute while maintaining high comprehension levels. This technique is useful because it helps you manage your time and work.
How fast do speed readers read?
Speed readers read at 700 words per minute and above compared to normal readers at 200-230 words per minute. However, the higher the word count per minute, the lower the comprehension rate.
Are fast readers more intelligent?
Research shows no strong correlation between a high IQ and speed reading. But there’s a strong correlation between IQ and reading. People who make time to study a lot have more information and they, therefore, are more knowledgeable.
Is it normal to be a slow reader?
It is normal to re-read your texts here and there. Maybe you lost focus at some point. However, frequent regression causes slow reading and should be addressed.
So, are speed reading courses worth it? Yes, they are, but it depends on your intentions for enrolling in the reading course. There’s still no trick that enables you to read a text accurately and quickly – there will always be a trade-off.
Speed reading is acceptable in situations like skimming over revision notes or reading news articles. But slow and steady gets you to the finish line when you need to thoroughly grasp the content.