Articles from
Ed Caldwell.

Speed Reading Tips: For Super Fast Reading Focus on Meanings, not Grammar

How fast do you read? Have you tried to speed read and only get frustrated because you can’t seem to get through certain speed limits?

I’ve noticed that new students to speed reading often meet speed plateaus when developing their skills. The first speed plateau appears at around 500-600 words per minute (wpm).

The reason why this rate appears so often to hold new learners back is because they are still trying to comprehend the material using their traditional approach of linear subvocal reading. This kind of reading relies on the grammatical sequence to be heard in the mind, before the mind accepts to meaning. Grammar is the driver. 500-600 wpm is the limiting number as that is the speed at which our brain can understand spoken language.

One of the key concepts and skills to what I call “supersonic reading,” (above the 600 wpm threshold) is accepting meanings without regard to grammatical sequence.

This will allow you to read above that 600 words per minute threshold especially for informational types of reading. Reading is a thinking skill, or cognitive skill. How often do you think in grammatically correct sentences? Thinking is comprised of images, feelings, ideas, and concepts. Seldom do we need to think in grammatical sequence. When learning to speed read, this becomes a challenge merely because of habit.

Understand me you do? Yes, that sentence is purposely out of grammatical sequence to demonstrate that we can understand meaning outside of expected order.

So as you practice to develop your skills, free your mind to interpret the print and not rely on the grammtical sequence. Put the meaning together in your way of saying it. Or, better yet, sum it up with key words as you move over the print.