Have you ever wondered if there was a “faster” way to read science articles or textbooks? The key to learning Biology or Chemistry is not by reading into the wee hours of the night. If you want to have more time NOT studying then you must master the technique of Speed Reading and Summation.
If you are skeptical about the effectiveness of Speed Reading, former U.S. Presidents Kennedy and Carter publicly enodrsed these methods in the White House.
Before You Start
Before you jump headfirst into speed reading techniques you should be aware that most people only comprehend 50% or less of the material when speed reading.[image of book]
This is not good enough for scientific reading. Speed reading is normally used for fiction or other literature where you do not need to remember a lot detail. To overcome the information overload from speed reading scientific books you need a slightly modified strategy.
- Speed Reading
- Automatic Summation Programs OR Take Brief Notes
Speed reading is a collection of techniques used to improve your ability to read quickly. A good Speed reading technique should eliminate silent reading and back-reading while improving your use of your peripheral vision. I will briefly describe these 3 considerations and show you a helpful videos I found on YouTube.
1. Silent Reading
Do not, I repeat do not mouth the words lowly or in your head as you read. Silent Reading or subvocalization is a bad habit to get into that will decrease your reading rate. Silent Reading is similar to adding numbers with your hands. It is easy but not very efficient.
Most people engage in back-reading where their eyes moves back and forth instead of in a straight line as they read. You should use a pen or your finger to help your eyes move quickly and in a single direction.
3. Peripheral Vision
Your eyes do not have to focus directly at the start and end of every line. Although this may seem like a trivial improvement it will add up when you have to read 2,000 lines in a textbook.
Now that you have an overview of some speed reading techniques look at this video by a YouTube user:
If you have successfully eliminated your tendency to back-read (may be hard to break out of) and subvocalize you should now focus on retaining more information. Watch this youtube video to find online sources for summarizing scientific info. If you are using a textbook and have no digital version then you should take QUICK notes as your read. you should write down any titles you come across, bold words, italicized words, or anything that seems like an important detail to you.
Much of the information I used to write this article came from the internet and trials I performed myself.