After completing the first step of the speed reading technique, you will want more. Learn what to do with complicated passages so that they won’t slow you down and how to remember your textbook content without much effort.
NOW it’s time to read. Don’t hesitate, though! You will apply your speedy eye movements which I will explain in the next post. In this step you will speed read the most important parts of the text and find the answers to your questions (which you created in the purpose-step) first! Read what is important and leave the less important parts for later – you can read those when you have enough time.
Also, skip difficult and complicated parts of the text. (You can mark these parts and read them later.) Sometimes you understand something easier if you read on, because you can fill the gaps around the difficult information.
If you are taking notes while you read (which is advisable if you want to remember better what you have read), this is the step where you write down most of the information. I recommend using only keywords, which I will explain in subsequent Nerd Generator posts.
Quickly review the text once more and fill eventual gaps in your notes. Now is the time to read also the difficult parts of the text, which you left out before.
These steps are not a set rule. Of course, you can vary them and mix them up. Just remember to proceed from the most important information to the least important. Read the main ideas first, then move on to the details. So don’t start with page one! This way you will understand the content much better and you will be far better prepared for your tests.
As you see, there is no need to read every word in a textbook. If you follow the principle explained here, you won’t get lost in details and will see the bigger picture and the connections between chapters much clearer. This will facilitate your learning.
Vary your speed
Logically, if the content of the text is familiar to you, you are going to read it faster, if you don’t know much about the topic, you will slow down.
If the text is written easily, you will speed up and if the sentences are more complicated, you will slow down.
(Remember that sometimes textbook authors complicate too much – maybe you could read faster and understand a concept better if you used a different textbook.)