Throughout your studies, you will not escape reading: between your course notes and all the books in your class, it takes up most of your time! So, reading is good, but retaining information from reading it is better. How do you learn to read faster? We present to you 5 unbeatable techniques to help you optimize your reading to the fullest!
- Technique n°1: create the optimal conditions
- Technique n°2: not everything is good to read
- Technique n°3: widen your gaze
- Technique n°4: enrich your vocabulary
- Technique n°5: be proactive while reading!
1. Technique n°1: create the optimal conditions
You must have heard it more than once: the state of your workspace plays a role in your concentration. So, if your room is currently a battlefield, it may be in your head too! There's nothing worse than stray thoughts for slowing down reading. An hour passes, and you realise that you've read the same sentence ten times without even understanding it... It's totally counterproductive when you're looking for ways to read faster and better.
To avoid this, do not hesitate to create a "reading corner”, a space that you reserve especially for reading. It can be a comfortable armchair, a particular room in your home or even a place outside like a small café: in short, a place where you feel good. Reading should always be fun!
👉 The goal is that out of habit, your brain enters "reading" mode as soon as you settle in this place: by automating things, you will be able to increase your reading speed 😉
2. Technique n°2: not everything is good to read
If you're the "reading addict" type and you have a mania for reading everything from A to Z, from the very boring course manual to the magazine through the medication leaflet, this advice may clash with your deepest convictions…. Still try to give it a chance, because it's really effective: only read the essentials of your books.
Knowing how to target the most important parts allows you to get an idea as precise as if you read it entirely!
👉 To do this, start by identifying the key places in your book: summary, introduction and conclusion, boxes, diagrams and tables if there are any.
Do selective reading...
Then, keep in mind that you can select what you are going to read! Focus on the most important chapters, those that deal specifically with the concepts you want to deepen or that relate to your course.
… or review the whole
You can also opt for a strategy of "scanning" the whole book: review the entire content but without dwelling on each paragraph or sentence. In this way, you will have a clear idea of the whole book and it will help you to understand and remember it much better than if you read it religiously in a traditional way.
It is better to read a book two or three times quickly than to decipher it laboriously once and forget the beginning once finished!
3. Technique n°3: widen your gaze
This advice is worthy of the champions of speed-reading competitions (it exists)! Indeed, the error that the majority of ordinary readers make is to read word afterword, having a very "tightened" view of what they are reading.
On the contrary, all great fast readers (who reach 1,000 words per minute!) recommend that you "zoom out" with your eyes: your gaze must advance by group of words, or even by whole paragraphs when you have experience!
👉 You don't have to dwell on every letter. The brain is quite capable of filling in the blanks on its own, even if you only focus on a few important words among a group of sentences. Come on, take off your blinkers 😉
4. Technique n°4: enrich your vocabulary
Finding a word that you have never come across before is a sure fire way to slow down your reading, not to mention the fact that it reduces your comprehension.
You then find yourself faced with two options: either you open a dictionary or (more likely) you search the Internet, or… you simply give up, telling yourself that this book is too complicated for you anyway. In any case, you are wasting time to progress on your reading!
👉 Faced with a lack of vocabulary, you have to fight this reflex - to give up at the slightest word that is a little too long. In a few clicks on your smartphone, you can find the definition of a new word and that's it, you've learned it!
You feel like you're wasting time but tell yourself that you're making a long-term investment; you'll never have to look up all those words again if you come across them. So, you will take out your dictionary (paper or electronic) less and less over time😊
This technique must be combined with another, very effective one: to expand your vocabulary…simply read! Try to read everything: documentaries, novels, news media…If you take the trouble to look up the definition of new words that you come across, you will see your vocabulary enriched in no time!
5. Technique n°5: be proactive while reading!
This technique is probably the most important if you want to know how to read faster and more efficiently. Indeed, reading quickly is wonderful, but if you just close your book once finished and store it in your library forever, you will retain almost nothing! All your good efforts will fall through…But then, how do you best remember everything you read?
Take notes while reading
Did you know that if you just read a book passively, your brain will retain only 10% of its content? Well, this percentage rises to 70% when you make the effort to reproduce what you have read: that is to say, to produce a medium whose format will allow you at a glance to recover remember the contents of the book and its main ideas.
You can take notes as you read, by annotating directly in the book or in a notebook, and then put all the ideas back into shape. To sort and get a clear and concise summary of the book, you can, for example, take inspiration from its structure (the plan) or recreate yourself a structure that seems more suitable to you. Also note the key concepts, the major ideas of each chapter and why not some striking quotations.
Make reading sheets
These are the notes that will allow you to end up with a reading sheet. The reading sheets are the secret of readers who know perfectly all the books they have devoured.
💡 With our notebooks, no need to dive back into your huge textbooks because you forgot everything you read: you can summarize a 500-page book on a simple double-sided sheet!
👉 To take your reading sheets in your pocket, you can store them, save them for free in a secure cloud and find them on your phone wherever you want and whenever you want thanks to the SCRIBZEE application. You just have to scan the pages one by one and, thanks to the markers placed at the 4 corners, the application will detect, and you can organise all the pages in different folders! Another advantage: you and your friends can share your reading sheets with each other via SCRIBZEE.
With these 5 techniques that teach you how to read faster and better, you are sure to become the king of fast and efficient reading. Learning and memorising your lessons will only be easier, and your revision will go like clockwork!