How Do I Improve My Speed Reading?

Apply these techniques to improve your speed reading:

Get Ready

  • sit up straight; use a high-back chair; perch on the edge of your seat
  • stand up

Limit Time

  • use a stopwatch, digital watch or a clock with a second-hand
  • set a time limit for reading; e.g.: read 3 sections of one chapter in 50 minutes.


  • relax your mind and body; it will improve your concentration

Eye Movements

  • As you read your eyes are continuously jumping (saccades) through groups of words and stopping (fixations)
  • Decrease your eyes from jumping by using your finger, a pen, pencil or ruler as a guide
  • Ask a reading partner to count the number of times your eyes stop while reading a line.
  • Determine the average number of fixations
  • Determine the average number of words per line
  • Divide “words per line” by “number of fixations” = reading X number of words at a time

Watch for Bad Habits

  • Keep your eyes from rereading words by using a sheet of paper, or a 3×5 card to cover previously- read lines of text
  • Don’t read the words aloud or in your head; it slows you down


  • Vary your speed with different materials



Take a break from reading with this useful tension releasing exercise:

  1. Get comfortable; sit down or lie down 
  2. Close your eyes. Place your palms over your eyes. Imagine a completely black space 
  3. Breath deeply, concentrating on the blackness for a further few minutes 
  4. Remove your hands, slowly open your eyes 
  5. Relax for one more minute and continue reading 
Notice how relaxation improves your reading and comprehension!

Last modified: Wednesday, 7 February 2018, 2:58 PM