Taking a speed reading test is the first step to improve the rate of your reading. In order for reading to improve, it is important to know your current speed level. Speed reading tests have different formats and are available from various sources. We found this free online speed reading test that proved very reliable.
Tests can be designed to analyze actual reading speed or they can test comprehension levels. Many tests available are able to give an accurate idea of both. A person that is capable of speed reading could test your abilities. Once you have the results to your test, the teacher could then assist in pinpointing weaknesses and demonstrate some techniques that would benefit your current skills. Working one on one with someone has many advantages. It is easier to be motivated if you have ‘homework’ to complete before the next lesson. It may also be possible to establish your problem areas more quickly with the help of a professional. Unfortunately, learning speed reading from an instructor can be costly.
Now that I have mentioned the help of an instructor, it is not to say that you won’t be able to effectively learn to improve your skills by yourself. The reading test can be done by yourself, at home. All that is needed is an article to read and a stop watch. It will be helpful to have a friend to operate the stop watch! Ask your friend to take time for one minute while you read. After the minute is up, count how many words have been read. This will indicate an average speed, for example, 200 words per minute. To test comprehension levels, get your friend to ask you various questions on the article you have just read. If you are able to adequately provide the answers, then you will know that you understand your reading as well. It’s no good being able to speed read at 1000 words per minute, yet at the end have no idea what you’ve read!
The best and easiest way to conduct a speed reading test would be to find one on the internet. There are hundreds to choose from and you won’t even need to find your own stop watch! Online tests often have multiple choice questions included to test comprehension levels at the same time. Experiments have shown that we tend to read a little slower from a computer screen. So it may be interesting to conduct your own test from paper after taking the online test to see how they compare.
Bear in mind that the difficulty in text has an influence on the speed at which we read. Therefore, don’t be alarmed if your speed fluctuates a little when reading different types of writing.
After you have your speed reading test results, it is quite easy to teach yourself various speed reading techniques to improve your reading speed. Though, often the help of a good speed reading book is immensely beneficial. Before you know it, you will be zooming through books at a speed you never imagined possible!