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Is Speed Reading Effective For Studying?

Reading is an important part of studying. You have to go through (many) books and find the right information to pass exams. When you can speed read with 1000+ words per minute through a text, you can save a lot of time. At least that is what most people think.

You should know that you can’t just increase your reading speed indefinitely. There is a limit to how fast you can read and how much you will comprehend. So yes, speed reading is a very effective reading method for studying. But please don’t think you can quadruple your reading speed and learn faster. Let’s explore all of this right now. 

Is Speed Reading Good For Studying?

Learning new reading tactics will most likely improve your reading speed and results. Right now, you are reading with the same tactics and systems that you learned when you were 6 years young. Make sure you update these to become a more efficient reader. 

Reading faster will affect your learning process. I am not saying that speed reading is the best solution for everybody. You can start by simply reading slightly faster. For example, when you currently read 1 page in 2 minutes, aim for reading it in 1 minute 45 seconds. This should not be too difficult. There will be an amazing benefit to this.

By reading faster, your brain will focus better. The reason for this is simple. Reading more words per minute requires more attention from your brain. And more attention to reading lowers the influence of other processes and thoughts. 

Because of this increased focus, you will be able to understand better what you read. Stop after reading each page. Take a few moments to think about what you read. 

  • Is there something not clear? 
  • Do you feel you missed something? 
  • What are the important ideas on that page? 

Write the key ideas from the page in your notes and move forward. 

When you start reading this way, you will memorize what you read faster and easier. You create good notes at the same time. 

Reading difficult parts of your chapter may require you to read slower. That is fine. As long as you continue to move forward. Don’t re-read the text. This slows you down and allows your brain to feel it is fine to re-read. Aim for reading a text once!

Read faster when this is possible. For example, the case studies and examples will not require you to read slowly. 

Speed reading can be an important tool to read a text. Remember that you don’t need to be a speed reader to read fast. Only increasing your reading speed by 10% allows you to read faster. You can read 11 chapters in the time you previously took to read 10 chapters!

Is Speed Reading A Waste Of Time?

Speed reading and speed reading tactics are not a waste of time. You should be allotting time to increase your reading speed! This does not mean speed reading is the end all be all in studying. Sure, reading faster is good. Simply reading faster is already very practical in becoming a more efficient student.

When you start reading too fast, you will start to lose context and information. It depends on you when fast is too fast. It also depends on your book, state of mind,  and prior knowledge. Some people feel that reading 400 words per minute is too fast. Others feel this happens at 800, 1000, or even 1200 words per minute. 

It is possible to read with 1200 words per minute. It takes a lot (A LOT) of practice. I believe more people are not able to put in all this training or time to achieve this. The most important question right now should be… do you have to read this fast? 

As I wrote before, speed reading can be harmful when you go too fast. You don’t actually read and you miss too much. This means you have to go back to the beginning of the text and read it again. 

You benefit a lot more when you learn to read with more focus. You should improve your comprehension. When you do that, you can achieve more than simply reading fast. You remember and understand what you read. You don’t have to re-read. 

For me, the secret of speed reading is first increasing your comprehension. You can also slightly increase your reading speed. Get more information from your book using the same time (or aim for less time). The goal of reading is not reading more pages, but understanding more from the pages you read. 

Study smart, use speed reading for studying

How Can I Use Speed Reading For Studying?

Learning to speed read takes time. For most people, it takes too much time to learn how to read with 600 or 800 words per minute. Sure, you can learn how to read faster in an hour or so. It takes weeks or months to make your brain process information at 800 words per minute. And even if you can read this fast, you may not be able to do this consistently. Your book, state of mind, and prior knowledge can all reduce your max reading speed. 

The most effective way to go through books faster is to simply increase your reading speed. Increase it by 10% for example. There is no need to master speed reading for most people. This takes too much time to learn. You better focus on comprehending more of what you read.

Fast reading is worth it! 

The biggest next question that is important for learners is this. How can I read faster without forgetting?

When you start reading slightly faster, you improve your focus. By stopping after each page and recalling what you’ve read, you can remember more. Take a few notes and move forward.

This works well when you want to go through your books faster. 

The one thing you should understand is this: Speed reading doesn’t make you smarter in less time. Smart reading makes you smarter. You may take the same time to read as you did without speed-reading tactics. You do end up with better comprehension and better recall. 


You could state that speed reading is everything faster than what you are reading right now. Most people read too slowly. When they start reading faster, they usually increase their comprehension. This means that reading faster is good for studying. 

When you feel you should be reading with 800, 1000, or even 1200 words per minute to become a speed reader… you are wrong. 

First of all, most people will not be able to read that fast, even with a lot of training. And even if you could be reading this fast, it would probably be more scanning than reading. You are likely to understand the general direction of what you read. The details and finer thoughts will probably fly by at that speed. 

What I suggest to you is the following. Start reading faster. Increase your reading speed by 10%. This will help you read faster and most likely increase your comprehension. 

If you still want to become a faster reader or even a speed reader, let me know via the contact page. I am more than happy to help you do just that!

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