Being able to read fast is great, not only when you’re in school but in life generally. But you also must be able to understand what you read; without good comprehension skills, reading is all but a complete waste of time. If you’re an online student who’s facing pages and pages of dense text, here’s how you can read fast, comprehend what you’re reading, and never get tired!
Did you know that humans do not read in a straight line? Rather, we read using saccadic movements. So each saccade will include a temporary snapshot of text within a focused area, and if you’re reading about eight inches away from the text’s surface this area is about the size of a quarter. These snapshots last for around 1/4th to ½ of a second. If you avoid unconscious rereading and skipping, you could read about 30 percent quicker. Use something (like a pen) to underline your text while reading, and keep your eyes fixed above the pen tip to ensure you’re constantly reading in the right direction. This will also help you maintain a quick reading speed.
Even when focusing on the center of a computer screen, you can still see what’s at the sides of the screen. If you enhance your peripheral vision, you can read 300 percent faster. Train your mind to look at the space between two words rather than looking at a specific word. This way, you can read both words simultaneously and then move on to the next pair.
There are several short-term online courses out there that can teach you how to speed read. These courses will teach you how to reprogram your brain so it absorbs information quickly and effectively. Before choosing a course, make sure the curriculum includes theory, practical exercises, and personal stories. If you take a course to improve your reading abilities, you can get first-rate training and advice.
Both PCs and Macs include tools that allow users to make their screens ideal for reading. Click the white point setting on your display to adjust the color tint of your screen. For Windows-based systems, try this: Control Panel > Display. And for Macs, try this: System Preferences > Display. Use your settings to make your screen a little warmer. Select color temperature on Windows to make the screen yellow and a little warmer—this will help you read quickly and easily.
But if you’re in a hurry and you need help completing reading assignments online, you should get assistance from an online class taker! All you have to do is call one and ask: “Can you take my online class for me?”