19 February 2018


A “must have” skill for the 21st Century

Accelerated learning is a method of learning that helps you organize, arrange and assimilate information at rapid speeds.
Ever since the creation of the printing press, it’s hard to argue with the fact, that most of the information we are exposed to on a daily basis is presented to us in thewritten word.
With the ever-increasing influence and expansion of web multimedia services, the written word is somewhat losing a little ground, however, it is still the most prevalent and popular way of presenting information in the modern era. Although it can be argued that it is also the number #1 culprit of the societal epidemic known to us as information overload. This epidemic is sweeping the world and putting extensive pressure on information gatherers who are doing their very best to try and make sense of the world.
Given this, it is critical that we learn to collect, absorb and completely assimilate the written word in a way that will save us time, energy and also our sanity. 😉
Today we will delve into the intricate details of reading and break down the speed reading process, including a step-by-step explanation on how to utilize a combination of speed reading and complementary study skills to obtain a thorough and comprehensive understanding of an entire textbook. We will also take a closer look at a subconscious process of Photo Reading, which can enhance your learning and understanding of information at a profoundly deeper unconscious level of awareness. And finally, we will present you with some examination, study tips and strategies that incorporate the Photo and Speed Reading accelerated learning principles.

Reading Facts, Stats, Methods, and Benefits

From a very young age, we are conditioned and trained to assimilate the written word in a variety of different ways.
The vast majority of us are first taught the methods of pronunciation one letter of the alphabet at a time. Next, we are introduced to short words and instructed to pronounce each letter of the word as an individual character before verbalizing the word as a whole.
As we grow older and gain more experience with reading, we naturally progress to larger words and learn to verbalize them in wholechunks, which essentially enhances and improves our speed of reading. However for the vast majority of the population, this is where our reading progression essentially stops in its tracks, and this sets up a lifelong pattern of inefficient reading habits that present us with ineffective strategies for assimilating large amounts of information into our psyche.

Key Reading Facts and Stats

Here are some interesting statistics about reading:
  • The average reader only reads 150 words per minute (wpm).
  • Only 5% of readers read more than 400 wpm.
  • Most of us can only assimilate what we hear when it is presented at 250 wpm.
  • Most of us can assimilate what we see at 2,000 to 10,000 wpm.
  • 4% to 11% of the text you read carries 80% of the meaning.
Facts About How Quickly People Read

Two Methods of Accelerated Reading

Throughout this post, we will be discussing two specific methods of accelerated reading that will help you to improve your assimilation, comprehension, and understanding of the information you are studying.
Here is a quick look at the two principles of Photo Reading and Speed Reading.

Speed Reading Principles

Speed reading involves the process of skimming, chunking, identifying and filtering specific pieces of information in order to accelerate learning.
You skim over information in a way that will allow you to acquire an overall picture of the topic without losing yourself in the meticulous details.
You would chunk relevant aspects of this information together, following the same process you utilize when chunking individual letters into words. This helps to absorb sentences and paragraphs in quick succession. You would likewise identify or filter out aspects of the information you are reading that aren’t relevant or necessary to further your understanding of the topic.
Given all this, it is important to understand that speed reading isn’t just about reading quickly. It rather involves an analysis process of information assimilation that will accelerate your ability to learn information quickly.

PhotoReading Principles

PhotoReading involves a pre-conscious level of awareness that naturally stimulates creativity, rapid information assimilation while opening the doors to non-judgmental learning.
While PhotoReading, you are essentially shutting-off the conscious critical mind from the learning cycle.
Even though the conscious mind is essential for stimulating your short and long-term memory, it, however, can become a hindrance due to its habitual preconceived ideas and notions about the information you are learning.

Benefits of Accelerated Reading

Learning to read at an accelerated and rapid speed utilizing the methods described within this post and mind map, can dramatically reduce your study time and efforts while enhancing your speed of comprehension and assimilation of new information.

Principles of Speed Reading

Speed reading is far more than just a process of rapid reading. It rather involves an intricate method of learning that will help you to become a smarter and more effective learner.
Within this section we will break down the speed reading process in detail, providing you with essential guidelines that will help you to rapidly assimilate this method of learning into your study regime. We will also overview the two processes of learning that incorporate the methods of speed reading to help you assimilate information at a faster rate.

Speed Reading Uses

As previously mentioned, speed reading is a conscious process of accelerated learning that is best utilized for skimming large chunks of information in a structured and proactive way.

Speed Reading Guidelines

There are some simple yet fundamental rules for speed reading that we must abide by if we seek to rapidly accelerate our learning ability and get the most out of this study technique.
Learn to utilize and apply each of these methods progressively and you will begin to rapidly accelerate your speed of reading to ever higher levels. The key, however, is to be patient. You will not learn these skills overnight.
Years of reading and learning from an early age have conditioned you into specific patterns and habits of information assimilation that you will progressively need to break away from. It simply takes time and diligent effort. However, if you commit yourself and stay disciplined throughout this process, then you will no doubt be rewarded for your efforts.

Read in Chunks and Blocks

As kids, we learned to chunk letters into whole words. As a speed reader, we must now take this process to the next level and begin chunking individual words into multiple word blocks that must be read as a whole.
These word blocks can then be chunked further into larger word blockssentence blocks, and later whole paragraph chunks that can be read and comprehended within a single glance.
If you are not familiar with this process, then it might at first seem like a daunting task. However, you must remember that when you were a child, chunking letters into words at first seemed rather difficult, however you persisted and learned how to read more proficiently.
Simply begin by reading chunks of two words at one time. Once you become comfortable with this method of reading, take it to the next level and read in three and then four-word chunks. Over time, your conscious brain will adjust to this process and you will see a rapid increase in the speed of you reading.
Every time you progress to a larger chunk, you are effectively accelerating your reading speed anywhere from 50% to 75%.

Use Incomplete Sentence Scanning Method

This method assumes that the first and last two to three words of every sentence are not significant or important to the underlying meaning of the entire sentence. You can therefore simply skim over these words without reading them, and you will still acquire a comprehensive understanding of the content.
Using this method, you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 10% to 20%.

Only Move Eyes while Reading

Have you ever seen a typewriter in action? It moves from left to right, and when it reaches the edge of the page, it is pushed left once again. This is in essence how some people read. They are suffering from theTypewriter Reading Syndrome, moving their head left to right then right to left as though their book stretched across the entire horizon. 😉
Did you know that any movement of your head will slow down your reading speed quite dramatically? This is why it is suggested that you only move and rotate your eyes back and forth across the page while you are reading.
Using this method you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 20% to 30%.
You can further accelerate your reading speeds by incorporating your peripheral vision. Your peripheral vision will allow you to see more of the page in one glance without having to move your eyes across the page left to right. In fact, the most proficient speed readers actually only move their eyes down the center of a page, while incorporating their peripheral vision to capture words and phrases that lie off-center.

Sweep Hand Across Page while Reading

When it comes to speed reading, it is important to guide your eyes across and down a page at a patterned speed and rhythm. The best way to do this is to use your hand as a guiding pointer progressively leading your eyes down the page.
Think of your hand as a guide dog leading a blind person down the street. Wherever the guide dog points, that is where your eyes must follow.
Establishing a rhythm is also very important here, as it will allow you to progressively increase your reading speed over time.
Using this method you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 10% to 100%, depending on how effective you become with assimilating yourself into the rhythm of your hand motion.

Reduce Amount of Skip-backs

We naturally slow down our speed of reading because of simple skip-backs, which involves rereading words and sentences over and over again.
Many of us partake in this time-wasting habit because as children we were told by our teachers that we must go back and reread words that were mispronounced.
As adults, even though we don’t normally verbalize these words aloud, we nevertheless still utilize skip-backs as an unconscious way of righting the wrongs of incorrect word pronunciations.
Using this method you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 25% to 50%.

Reduce Fixation Time

Throughout the reading process, many of us have an unfortunate habit of staying fixated upon a word for an extended period of time. This was okay when we were children learning to read and to recognize word patterns. However, as adults, this habit dramatically slows down the reading process.
The next time while reading a book, identify if you have a habit of staying fixated on certain words for longer then is necessary. Only once you have become aware of this habit, can you make the necessary changes to overcome it successfully.
Using this method you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 10% to 50%.

Don’t Move Lips or Make Noises while Reading

When we were kids, we were taught to read and say our words aloud so that our teachers could hear our pronunciations clearly and make the necessary corrections accordingly. This was fine, as it taught us language skills that have since become indispensable to our ongoing social growth and development. However, the downside of this method of teaching is that we continue to pronounce our words internally, or through simple methods of moving our lips, while we are reading.
Our eyes can recognize words and sentence structures far more quickly then we can articulate them aloud. Hence, if you are verbalizing the words you are reading inside your head or through the process of just moving your lips, then you are dramatically slowing down your speed of reading.
Using this method you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 50% to 250%.

Don’t Read Filler Words

Filler words are essentially meaningless words that add very little substance to the overall sentence you are reading.
Filler words can include “the”, “and”, “is”, “that”, “this”, “what”, “a”, and many others. Through practice, you can teach yourself to quickly skim over these words without ever consciously reading them.
Using this method you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 50% to 100%.

Alternate Your Reading Speed

As you progress forward with these speed reading guidelines, it is important to test and move out of your comfort zone by progressively challenging yourself to read at faster-accelerated speeds.
All of us have a natural comfort level of reading that feels just right. Once we go beyond these comfort levels our comprehension and understanding of the information we are reading naturally begins to plummet. However, we must come to understand that this is only temporary, as our brain takes a little time to adjust to these increased speeds of reading and comprehension.
When you were a child your initial reading speeds weren’t very impressive, in fact, it might have taken you a whole 30 seconds to read a short sentence from a book. However, at the time, this felt comfortable and it allowed you to fully grasp and comprehend the information you were reading. In time, you accelerated your speed of reading to a new level of comfort that you experience today. And there is nothing stopping you from transitioning to the next level by testing and challenging your reading speeds on an ongoing basis.
Using this method you can effectively accelerate your reading speed anywhere from 10% to a 1,000% or more.

Form Mental Visual Mind Maps while Reading

In order to improve your comprehension of the information you are reading, it is important to form ongoing visual mind map images of each sentence, paragraph, topic, and chapter throughout the reading process.
This topic is beyond the scope of our discussion as it doesn’t specifically relate to the process of speed reading. However, as a general rule, it is important to incorporate as many methods and strategies for comprehension as possible.

Practice, Practice and Practice Some More

Finally, you will not improve your reading speed by thinking about these techniques and strategies. The key is to practice, practice and practice each and every day. Through consistent practice over time, you will progressively accelerate your reading speed beyond its present capabilities and limitations.
How to Improve Your Reading Speed

SQ3R Process of Learning

This is a simple method of learning that will help you to assimilate the information you are studying in a more structured and effective way.
I have presented it here, because a part of this process requires you to speed read through the information you are learning. 

Survey Stage

This stage involves taking in a thorough overview of the material you are about to learn. Here you must make sure that you have all your necessary tools and resources on hand before you begin moving through the survey stage.
Begin by overviewing your material, taking into consideration keywords, topics, headings, chapters and other important pieces of information that will be relevant to your understanding of this topic.

Question Stage

This stage involves questioning the material you are about to read in a way that will expand your perspective and understanding of the topic.
The better and more insightful questions you ask, the more thoroughly you will prepare your mind for the learning process.
At this stage, it doesn’t matter if you cannot answer these questions, all that matters is that you open your mind to the possibilities that these questions will need to be answered as you move through your learning regime.
Keep in mind that your questions must highlight important unanswered aspects of the information that are critical to your understanding of each topic.

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