5 Ways to Read Faster That ACTUALLY Work – College Info Geek

September 18, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


Over the past couple of
weeks we’ve been looking at speed reading in depth. In this video we looked
at the science of how our eyes move over text and how
our brains process that text. And in this video we
looked at some common speed reading techniques
and showed how they’re really not as
effective as a lot of people want to believe they are. So, the question
still remains, though. Are there ways you
can legitimately increase your reading speeds? Well, I believe that there are and in this video
I want to give you five different methods
that you can use to actually read faster. The first method is
deceptively simple and, well, maybe a
little bit inconvenient. It’s to simply read
often, read widely, and read challenging material. I emailed a
post-doctorate researcher at the University of San
Diego named Elizabeth Schotter who’s done a lot of research on speed reading for this episode. And I asked her, what
are the skills that help people learn
to read faster? And she told me, for skilled
readers who are still reading at that 200 to 400
words per minute range, they’re people who have a
lot of experience reading, who have a lot of
command over their language and
vocabulary, and who have a lot of prior background
knowledge they can use to apply to whatever it
is they’re reading quickly. This indicates what you
probably already know. Reading is a skill, and
like any other skill that’s worth the time
to take to build, reading does take time and
practice to get good at. Now this next
method will help you if you have the same
problem with reading that I have. When I’m
trying to read non-fiction, I really want to know
what’s in the book, but I’ll often find
myself getting bored or, more commonly, I’ll read
one sentence that will send me down a mental
rabbit hole of sorts, and then I’ll find
myself daydreaming. So to reduce the instances
of boredom and daydreaming when you’re reading, I have
two different ideas for you. And the first one is
to form what I call an “Interest Link” with something
you’re already interested in. And that’s a term I completely
just made up right now, but the general idea is to
try to connect the thing you’re reading, with something
that you already have a lot of interest in. Another idea is to do a
little bit of experimenting to find your optimal
spot for reading. For example, this arm chair is
not a good spot for me to read. Whenever I read here I
find myself daydreaming all the time, and that’s
why I tend to do a lot of my reading outside instead. Okay, so, third method. And this applies mainly
to textbook reading or readings where you
already know the specific type of information
you want to pull out of it or at least have a general idea. And it is to “Pre-Read” before
you start actually reading. And by pre-reading I mean going through the
chapter headings, the table of
contents, looking at bold and formatted text throughout the chapter, and going to the
end of chapter and looking at the vocabulary terms and the review questions. By doing these
things beforehand, you’re essentially
priming your brain to notice the most
important information when you’re reading,
and that will let you do the
next method, which, and this is gonna go completely
against everything you probably think I’ve been
building towards in this series. “Skimming” Even thought we’ve
established that skimming is a form of reading where
your comprehension is lower, it’s still an essential
skill because, let’s face it, the text that you’re
presented with in the book is way more than the text
that you actually need to put into your brain. Skimming is a great
way to get yourself through the monstrous
amount of reading you have to do to get the
gist, or overall idea, when the actual small
little details aren’t quite as important to get. Now my favorite method
of skimming is one that Cal Newport came up with
called “Psuedo Skimming.” And this is basically a
method when you go through your textbook reading
and you skim through the paragraphs looking for
the specific paragraphs that are more important
than the other ones. The ones that hold
main ideas, concepts, and the things you
need to remember. Once you’ve identified one
of these main paragraphs, then you can slow
down and read for comprehension so you can
remember what’s in it. But for the rest of them,
skimming will suffice. When you’re pseudo
skimming, a good way to pick out those
important paragraphs is to pay attention to the
first and last sentences of each paragraph,
because those ones will give you an idea of
what the rest of the paragraph contains. And, to close this video
out, the fifth and final tip for improving your
reading speed… hang on. Should we really be
talking about reading speed as the metric here,
or should we look a little bit broader and be
thinkig about learning speed as the important thing? I think that people who
wanna learn to speed read are often motivated
by this desire to become the kind of
person who can say, “I read three books this week.” And I think that’s
the wrong motivation. Reading shouldn’t just
be an achievement. Like, Good Reads is not
an achievements list and your bookshelf
is not a trophy case. By the same token, though,
the acquisition of knowledge is also something that can
lead you down the wrong path because in terms of
speed reading, I think it encourages us to think
of our brains like those ticket machines that
take your tickets at an arcade and tell you
how many bouncy balls you can get at
the price counter. Our brains don’t work
that way, but trying to speed read can convince
us that they do, and then we’re just trying
to feed the tickets in faster and faster. That’s
not how learning works. What about really
taking the time to ponder and chew on
what you’ve learned, compare it with your world view? I think speed readers
are constantly concerned with this idea of
comprehension, that even if their systems work,
comprehension isn’t really the only goal here. The writer Scott Berkun put
it better than I ever could. (Scott Berkun reads quote) So, here is the final method. When you read, also
take the time to do something with
what you just learned. Take notes, write a
summary, compare what you learned with your
current view of the world, and use that information
to do different things and make better decisions. All of this is gonna
help you more effectively encode the information,
have to reread less, and essentially will
increase your overall learning speed, which
should be the goal. Hopefully, some of the
methods in this video can help you read
faster, but ultimately, it’s a matter of
your priorities. If you wanna read more,
stop watching this video and start reading. And then make a habit of it. If you’re still
interested in this subject and want somewhere to start, then you can check
out the companion blog post for this
video, which has some links to some other
excellent articles on reading, and also you can check
out my essential list of books for
students if you want some book recommendations. Beyond that, if you
enjoyed this video, you can hit the “like” button
to support this channel and let me know your
thoughts down in the comments, and, as always,
thanks for watching. (upbeat music) Hey guys, thanks so much
for watching this final video in my speed
reading series. Now if you want to get new
videos every single week on being a more effective
student, then click that big red “subscribe”
button right there. You can also get a
free copy of my book on earning better grades,
so if you want one just click the picture
of the book right there. And, as I said before,
you can find all the notes and links to other
articles and the companion blog post by clicking the
orange button right there. In last week’s video we
looked at some common speed reading techniques,
so check it out if you haven’t seen it. And if you’d like to
connect or ask questions, I’m on Twitter @TomFrankly,
or you can leave a comment down below.