Between school, work and extra-curricular activities, many students face the issue of not having enough time to complete class work. Half of the battle of homework is reading the textbook or assigned literature. Speed-reading may be an answer.
Speed-reading is defined as the ability to read faster than normal, especially by acquired techniques of skimming and controlled eye movements. If students were able to acquire this ability and comprehend everything they read, this could be a timesaving breakthrough in academic success for some.
Christopher Conrad, an instructor with Iris Reading, said that having the ability to speed-read is a great skill for students to have. Speed-reading allows students to focus and take in information at a faster rate.
“It is VERY beneficial to college students because it enables one to read at a higher velocities yet keep a consistent pace, improves focus, accuracy, and concentration and will eliminate needless rereading while of course enabling one to intake more material and save time,” Conrad said.
Iris Reading, an online speed-reading website, describes itself as the largest and most trusted provider of speed-reading training. Iris speed-reading courses have been taught to thousands of students and professionals worldwide.
The main goal of Iris Reading is to help people overcome information overload.
“People take these courses because they have too much to read and they just want to find ways to get through it faster, be able to retain more of what they read so they can perform better on tests or presentations, and also just so they can read more of what they want to read,” Iris Reading instructor Thomas Whittington said.
Iris Reading teaches speed-reading in a 4-part structure that focuses on reading, memory, productivity and focus. “We expect students who take the Iris course to be able to improve their reading speed anywhere from two to three times,” Whittington said.
Jeremy Burgess, a sophomore history major from Enterprise, said that he thinks speed-reading, if easily accessed, would be a great tool for students.
“If speed reading could be taught in short seminar-type classes, or through apps online, I think it would be extraordinarily beneficial to students in literature or research classes,” Burgess said. “But as a whole, I wouldn’t say it would benefit everyone. People may use it as an excuse to wait to read things.”
Iris Reading offers a “Speed Reading Tips” app that can be downloaded on any iOS or Android phone for free. This app provides the best methods and practices to improve reading speed, comprehension, and retention.
Conrad said that there are myths about speed-reading that people interested in honing the skill should be aware of.
“Much of what one reads online has companies claiming they can increase your reading speed by thousands of words per minute (wpm) which is grossly inaccurate,” Conrad said. “A beginner could expect to double their average speed with a basic class and triple their words per minute with a bit more extended practice after that.”
If speed-reading interests you, you can register at www.irisreading.com/school/troy/ for a free online “Speed Reading 101” webinar that will be held on November 5th.