The “Read and Recall” Exercise
This simple exercise is a great drill to use in conjunction with your speed drills for a thorough and comprehensive practice regimen because it directly trains your ability to recall. Like all skills, concerted effort, repetition, and practice will help you in honing your comprehension and recall abilities.
For this exercise, read a paragraph, and immediately jot down some brief notes, few key words, or main ideas of what you just read. Then proceed to read the next paragraph, and do the same. Keep this going for a predetermined length of time (say 10 min, 20 min etc.). At first, it may be slightly challenging to recall some of the passages, and it may even seem a bit tedious to do so after every paragraph. However, as you progress, it becomes a bit easier as your mind adapts and becomes conditioned to this instantaneous recall exercise. Think of it as slowly conditioning your mind to instantly recall and remember.
After a bit of practice, you may no longer need to physically take notes and just do the recall portion in your head. As long as you are making an effort to do the recall portion, then you are benefiting from the exercise.
A variation of this is to read two, then three or more paragraphs, and take notes to see how much you can recall. Increase the amount of intake to challenge yourself. With some time, you will be surprised with your newly acquired abilities of recall and comprehension.
Paul is the founder of Iris Reading, the largest provider of speed-reading and memory courses. His workshops have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide at institutions that include: NASA, Google, HSBC and many Fortune 500 companies.