Speed Reading

I just took a speed reading test here.

According to that website, I read at an average of 272 words per minute (wpm). After reading it, I took a simple comprehension test. My result was a whooping 91 percent (I got 10 out of 11 question correct).

Now, to quote that website:

If top readers read at speeds of above 1000 words per minute (wpm) with near 85% comprehension, they only represent 1% of readers. Average readers are the majority and only reach around 200 wpm with a typical comprehension of 60%. This seems surprising since most readers, actively reading work documents, newspapers, magazines, books or the contents of a computer display are practicing daily for at least one hour. With such an intense training everyone should be close to top performances.

So, if I’m just above the average 200 wpm but my comprehension is way, way above the average? What does that mean?

If I were to compute my effective wpm (ewpm) using the same technique that the website used, my ewpm shows that (272 x 0.91) it is 247. So it’s obviously, three times less than the so-called speed reader.

Reading efficiency is reading speed weighted by comprehension rate and it amounts to 200 x 60% or 120 efficient words per minute (ewpm) for the average reader and to 1000 x 85% or 850 ewpm for top readers.

But according to the website, I’m supposed to be twice more than the average reader. So, clearly I’m not an average reader. Further reading shows that I might fall in the “oral reader” who are described as those who need to supress subvocalization. Subvocalization was not discussed in that article, however, I previously read another article here, before taking that test.

It’s true though. If I’m not “quietly” reading to myself – voicing the words softly – I find my tongue moving around as if I were actually speaking. So…

To break the habit, try to be conscious of it. When you notice yourself pronouncing words to yourself, try to stop doing it.

Let’s see if I can do this…

Wish me luck!

Sources: http://www.wikihow.com/Learn-Speed-Reading, http://www.readingsoft.com/

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