Speed reading techniques for students

If you learned to read the way most people have, it was likely you were instructed to read word-by-word and then sentence-by-sentence.

This is an effective technique in teaching students, however, when you’re trying to speed read or learn to read much faster it’s more important that you learn how to read blocks of text rather than sentences or individual words. The outline is similar to the composition of texts: when you write my essay text, you also divide it into blocks.

Once you have learned various speed reading techniques, this is one basic technique you can combine with others in order to greatly increase your reading speed.

What is a block of text or a block of words?


  • A paragraph
  • A bulleted section of a document
  • One sentence
  • An entire page of text
  • One bullet point rather than the whole section
  • A section of numbered sentences

You might notice that we have contradicted ourselves. For example, we have said that a block of text can be a bullet point or a section of several bullet points. The reality is you need to find your own comfort level with what you consider to be a block of text. When you first begin speed reading, you might be more comfortable identifying a block of text as one bullet point or one half of a paragraph, or one small paragraph.

But as you become an effective speed reader by familiarizing yourself with these techniques in this speed reading course you will be able to identify a block of text as an entire page. This skill will also come in handy if you plan on becoming an essay writer. In fact, let’s make that your goal as you gradually become a faster and more effective speed reader.

How can you learn to read blocks of text?

Try these tips:

  • Pick some reading material and decide what you’re going to consider a block of text. Let’s say that you have chosen a company memo that is four paragraphs and includes two sections of bullet points. You might decide you are going to consider each section of text or a bullet point to be a block of text.
  • Read a block of text quickly. Ignore words like “the”, “at” or “of” and focus on the words or concepts that are repeated frequently or the words that jump off the page at you while you are reading quickly.
  • After you have completed your block of text, give yourself a quick second to digest what you have read. Once you know you have comprehended that block of text, move on to the next.

Read without regressions

Regressions are backward eye movements in order to re-read what you’ve already read. This flaw is the most common.

Some readers unnoticed read any text twice, both easy and difficult, as if for fidelity. The areas of such repeated fixations of the eyes that occur in traditional reading are sometimes very large.

As our research has shown, in slow reading regressions are quite frequent, and their number usually ranges from 10 to 15 for a text of 100 words. Clearly, such frequent eye-returns drastically reduce reading speed.


As you read through the block of text, focus on nothing else but that block of text. Don’t ask yourself what it’s about & don’t subvocalize any of the words, just read the block of text as one line and focus on your ability to comprehend what’s in front of you. If you find this is hard especially at first, it’s just a matter of practice! You will find this technique gets easier and easier the more you do it.