Select the Right Speed Reading Course

If you're interested in learning to speed read, you're in luck - there are a variety of courses available that can help you increase your reading speed. According the claims, these increases can go from moderate to dramatic. A moderate increase might be from 700 words per minute (the maximum speed at which most of us can read without special training) to 1000 wpm or so. To put this in perspective an average printed page might have about 300 words.

Reading more than three pages per minute with good comprehension is certainly fast, though not stellar - it means that you would be able to read a 300-page book in about an hour and a half. For many of us, this is good enough - reading at this rate will give you an edge in your studies and in business. There are, however, other speed reading courses which have much more spectacular claims.

Some courses claim that they can teach people to read at speeds of 10, 000 to 25,000 wpm - at least ten times faster than with conventional speed reading. The methods that these courses teach are different from those of conventional speed reading programs. For example, one speed reading course, known as Photo Reading, claims that your subconscious mind can be taught to mentally 'photograph' pages of text at an astonishing rate. One teacher claims that children aged 8 to 12 have the potential to learn to read at speeds much faster than those of adults. While it is rare for adults to reach as reading speed of 20,000 wpm, he claims that almost every child who takes his speed reading course attains this speed within just a few sessions.

If this is true, it implies that speed reading might be a skill for which there is an age-related 'window', like language aquisition. Experts are sceptical, though, and claim that reports of reading at speeds greater than 100 wpm are exaggerated or fraudulent. They also claim the comprehension is poor - only about 50% - even at 100 wpm, making this method unsuitable for studying or work-related reading. But nobody, expert or otherwise, can adequately explain Kim Peek - a man whose abilities have been tested extensively, and who has the ability to read two pages simultaneously, one with each eye. He reads at amazing speeds with 98% comprehension, a claim which no one disputes.

The catch is this - Kim Peek was born without part of his brain, the corpus collosum (which co-ordinates the right and left brains). Nevertheless, his accomplishments do seem to prove what many speed reading courses claim is true - that the human mind is capable or attaining and retaining information at amazing speeds. .

By: Robert Kokoska


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