RCs form a crucial and most scoring part of verbal section in various competitive exams. It is essential to gain expertise in reading comprehensions to score well in exams. One of the most important things for tackling RCs is to inculcate the habit of speed reading. The main curses of a slow reader are: vocalization and fixation/ocular slaving.
Barriers in Speed Reading
Vocalization is reading out syllables or words to yourself while reading.
Ocular slaving/ Fixation is when your eyes fixate on each letter or syllable in a word in order to read that word. These things slow you down, reduce your comprehension, interrupt your concentration and wear you out. If you have observed these things about yourself, your reading speed and comprehension is likely to be 20% of your true capacity. A speed reader will read several words in one fixation (which lasts for a very short time).
RC: Concepts & Strategies
Tips to Improve Reading skills
- The basic ways to improve your reading skills are - speed reading, mind mapping, improved memory, comprehension, recall (used with books, magazines, research, study and casual reading).
- You can significantly increase reading speed by breaking what is termed the "sub-vocalization barrier". This barrier limits most readers to around 300 words per minute as the reader reads each word or each syllable with a single eye movement. "The average person reads only 250 words a minute, endures eye fatigue, daydreaming, poor memory and recall. Improvement is easy, it starts with decisions to move forward." Try to achieve the speed of reading atleast 150-200 words per minute.
- In the conventional speed-reading methods, which require you to run your finger across the page, another suggested way is what we call to get in "the zone". "The Biggest Problem Intelligent People Have When They Read Is, They Are Thinking Of 5 or 10 Other Things While They Read”. That's right, your head is pointed at the book but your mind is somewhere else. You got to the bottom of the page and ask yourself "what did I just read?" and you can't answer yourself!
- You should experience your eyes absorbing entire sections. Words on the page seem to jump out. Your focus should be sharp and unshakable. Then, your memory becomes impressed permanently with what you read. You are speeding through chapters with acute comprehension and indelible recall. This skill is permanent. And it can be applied to many important areas in your life besides reading. It all happens because of the focus, the relaxation and the confidence.
Keep the above things in mind while developing the habit of speed reading and improving your reading skills.
Verbal Preparation Series