Strategies for Increasing / Monitoring Reading Rate

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Strategies for Increasing / Monitoring Reading Rate


  • DECREASE reading speed when there is -

* unfamiliar terminology

* difficult sentence and paragraph structure

* unfamiliar or abstract concepts

* detailed technical material

* material/details which you want to retain

  • INCREASE speed when –

* It is simple material with few new ideas.

* There are unnecessary examples and illustrations.

* There are detailed explanations you don’t need.

* The material contains broad, generalized ideas.

Three factors necessary for improving reading speed:

  1. a desire to improve

  2. willingness to try new techniques

  3. motivation to practice

Strategies /Tips for Improving Reading Speed
1. Set yourself up to succeed in a distraction free environment.
2. Don’t read on your bed.
3. Improve your reading rate through PACING (pushing yourself to read faster than your normal speed while maintaining your level of comprehension). Common methods:
Index card: slide down the page covering the lines as you read them…it keeps

you moving. Try to move at a pace that is slightly uncomfortable

And you’re not sure you can maintain.

Timer/Clock: Measure the portion of a page you can read in a minute. Set a

goal for yourself slightly above your current rate. (ex. You read

half a page in 1 min – try to read 5 pages in 9 minutes)

Scroll Key (down arrow) for reading online: keep it uncomfortable
4. Increase eye span by ‘chunking’ words in sentences as opposed to reading every word. You don’t have to read every word in order to comprehend!!
5. According to and Rick Ostrov (author of Power Reading), one technique you can use to improve your reading speed is the Regulator Technique. This involves running your finger, pencil, capped pen, or mouse underneath the line you are reading. The idea is to eventually shorten the length that you run the regulator. For more detailed information, go to


***Although rereading is not an effective way to LEARN, it is an effective method of building your reading speed.

***Eye speed can be increased and bad habits overcome through practice with timed passages in which you consciously try to read faster.

**Effective Reading Tutorial:

** Practice tests and calculate your WPM at



Strategies for Textbook Reading

Suggested Methods for reading a textbook chapter:

SQ3R: Survey – same as Previewing… read title, introduction, headings and subheadings, any terms in bold type, and summaries; look at illustrations and diagrams; skim end-of-chapter questions and activities

Question –turn each heading and subheading into a question

Read – answer the questions as you read

Recite – use your own words as much as possible…reciting can also be taking brief notes

Review – the most crucial step…review immediately…answer any review questions and complete self quizzes
**The Review step transfers information from short term memory to long term memory.

SQ4R: Survey





PRWR: Preview – same as above

Read – be selective when marking text and remember to ask questions

Write - chapter title, headings, and important notes about each, terms and definitions, examples, any listed items

Recite – this helps you to pay attention and stay focused

***This method is missing the review step. Definitely ADD it!

PRSR: Preview – same as above

Read – convert subheadings into questions

Self-test – helps to monitor comprehension

Review – not rereading! Only reread to clarify or overcome


There are six ways of interacting with the text. Experiment to see which one works best for you:

Marking – underlining, boxes, circles, brackets, asterisks, question marks,

arrows, marking definitions and examples, numbering ideas, reasons, causes, etc…

Annotating - writing explanatory notes and symbols
Note taking – on separate paper record info you need to learn and remember

Outlining – organizing main ideas and details

Mapping – informal way of organizing using boxes, circles, lines, arrows

Summarizing – main idea in sentence/paragraph form

**If you want to lock the information into memory, you have to take the time to review and rehearse the important information…rehearsing means saying or writing the information to transfer it into long term memory. For your brain to process and store information, you must interact with the material. Rereading the text is the least effective way to prepare for a test.

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