Reading 1000 words per minute (wpm) is fast, really fast! The average reading speed of students is about 250 to 300 wpm. Reading with 1000 words per minute means you are 3 to 4 times faster than the average reader.
Let’s have a look at how many pages 1000 words usually is. There are about 250 words on a normal page in a study book. Some pages may have up to 500 words. Study books these days contain many pictures, graphs, and images. This means that when you read with 1000 wpm, you read with 2 to 4 pages per minute!
Can you imagine reading 2 to 4 pages per minute? Is this something you feel is possible? Do you think you can do this? Do you see any problems with reading this fast? Continue reading to find answers to these questions.
Is Reading 1000 WPM Good?
Reading with 1000 wpm is fast. But is it good to read that fast? It may be nice to be able to read so many words per minute. But there is one thing much more important. You should always keep in mind WHY you are reading.
When you are new to a topic, and you read this fast… you may be missing some key ideas. You may even miss almost everything that is slightly important! The moment you are reading a familiar text, 1000 wpm could be a normal reading speed. In this case, you are more in a scan reading mode. The only thing you want from reading a familiar text is new ideas, a key idea, or a new insight.
This shows that it is not always bad to be reading with 1000 wpm. As long as you keep in mind that you have a goal, you simply choose the right reading tactic. Next time you read a book, ask yourself how much detail you need, and what the best way of reading is. Should you go faster or slower than you normally read? When you decide on the technique, it is time to start reading.
Do you need to read with 1000 wpm to study faster?
Do I Need To Read With 1000 Wpm To Study Faster?
It is always useful to learn how to read smarter. But this doesn’t mean you should only focus on reading faster. There is also something called comprehension. This tells you how much you get from a text. Reading with 100% comprehension means the text is completely clear. You understand and can recall what you read. Improve your comprehension so you don’t have to read with 1000 wpm.
When studying, you should focus on reading smarter. This may include reading faster. There are great benefits to reading faster. The most important thing to do is improve your comprehension. Here is why…
Imagine you read with 1000 wpm on a completely new topic. After reading 1000 words you do a test of 10 questions. You have one correct answer. This gives you a 10% comprehension. It is almost some sort of luck that you were able to correctly answer that question.
Now you take another approach. Instead of reading faster, you decide to read with your normal reading speed. You take your time and read with 250 wpm. In the test, you answer 8 questions correctly. Your comprehension is 80%.
In the second case, you scored an 80% but you took 4 times longer to finish the text. The first method was really fast but you failed the test.
Let’s look at the effective reading speeds. Method one gives you 1000 x 10% = 100 words per minute effectively. Method 2 gives you 250 x 80% = 200 words per minute.
Which approach would you rather use? The 1000 wpm or the 250 wpm?
Reading fast with low comprehension is usually worse than reading slower with high comprehension. You don’t need to read fast to become an effective learner. But… there is a way you can benefit from reading fast!
How Do You Read 1000 Words Per Minute?
Looking at the example of reading speed vs comprehension, you might say that reading fast is not good. But don’t worry. You can improve your reading speed. I believe you should be reading faster to become a more effective learner!
Many people asked me if it is possible to read 700, 800, or 1000 WPM. Yes, this is possible using the right technique. You could be using skim reading. You can also first scan the text. In skimming, you glance over the page to identify important parts. When you scan the page, you go over the lines and see every word. Start using these tactics together with your normal reading.
Here’s how you can read faster.
First, skim through a text. Taking 4 to 8 seconds per page is more than enough to do this. During this time, you find keywords, interesting or difficult terms or topics. Put an asterisk or checkmark on the sideline of your text. You can cover 10 to 15 pages per minute doing this.
After reading this fast, either scan the checked sections or do a deep dive for more context.
You can quickly get a good idea of the content of your book this way.
Another approach is to start by scanning your book. This works best when you are looking for specific answers from your text. Stop when you find your answers and read in more detail.
Keep in mind that reading with 1000 wpm is fast. When you are scanning, you need to train to get this fast. Having a lot of prior knowledge also helps a lot! Most of the topics in books you read are not new to you. You always have some knowledge. This helps you find answers faster.
IMPORTANT: as you can see, the knowledge you already have is important. It helps you to speed up your reading. Use this to increase your reading speed. Don’t limit yourself to reading everything at the same speed as you do right now. Be flexible!
Reading with 1000 wpm is fast, really fast. Don’t focus on reading speed only. You will be losing comprehension when you start reading this fast.
It is smart to improve your reading strategy. Some sections or books you read faster than others. Knowing when to speed up your reading is key in becoming a more efficient learner.
Have a good look at the text you are currently reading. You deserve to study smarter and have more time to enjoy the rest of your day. Study smart to study faster and have more personal time!