Assessing reading speed


Your reading speed will vary according to the complexity of the text. It's probably a good idea to test yourself with various types of texts. Try reading two different pieces of text, for example, a broadsheet (The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph) and a tabloid such as the Daily Mirror.


Find a clock with minutes that can be read easily or use a stopwatch.

Remember to read to yourself at the rate you usually do when you are trying to take in what is written. Don't treat this as a race to see how quickly you can do it! You want to find out how long it usually takes you. 


An average adult reads at about 200 words per minute.

150 w.p.m. is slow

100 w.p.m. is very slow

How do your rates compare with the average?


But, remember, it isn't a crime to read slowly. It just means that you need to allow yourself more time.


Increasing your reading speed

You could also consider ways to improve your reading speed. Try putting 'increase reading speed' into your internet search engine. It will find a number of sites running courses in speed-reading, but there are also sites that give tips you could try.


In Chapter 5 we have suggested several strategies to help with reading:


·      Changing the print style or size to find what's best for you.

·      Using your finger or a ruler to help you track the print across the page.

·      Having the best lighting for you. This means that the light comes over your left shoulder if you're right-handed,  and that you choose the brightness you are comfortable with. You could try different coloured light bulbs. If you can afford it, the Optim-eyesTM lamp is worth considering. For details click on and go to the product guide.

·      Using coloured plastic overlays or tinted glasses.  Visual discomfort

·      Sitting comfortably.

·      Avoiding distractions.

·      Trying paired reading.

·      Practise reading a bit more quickly with texts that you can easily cope with. You can check the reading level of a text using the SMOG technique.

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