The average person reads 200 words per minute. Learn how to improve your reading time and become a better reader.
In this day and age, people are busier than ever. Juggling work, family, and social obligations can be a daunting task. So, it’s no wonder that people often wish they could read more in less time.
Thankfully, there are ways to boost your reading rate so that you can read more in a shorter time.
The article will share some techniques to help you do that.
How to calculate your reading time
The average reader can read about 200 words per minute (WPM).
Based on this number, you can easily determine the estimated reading time of any piece of writing. Here’s how the reading time calculator works:
Take the total number of words in the article (including the headline and subheads), divide by 200, and you’ll have your answer in minutes. So if an article has a total word count of 800, it would take 4 minutes to read (800/200 = 4). Likewise, if an article has a total word count of 1000, it would take 5 minutes to read (1000/200 = 5).
To get the seconds, just take the result above and multiply it by 60. So an article with a total word count of 800 should take 240 seconds to read (4 *60 = 240).
With the average reading time in mind, you can go ahead and read any article and then observe your actual reading time. Comparing the two will give you an idea of how you’re faring.
With this information, you can start working on strategies to improve your speed.
What if your reading speed is higher than the average?
If you can read faster than the average reader, you can retain most information or forgo some nuances when needed. It all comes down to what works best for you. Some people read slowly and carefully, while others read more quickly and with less attention to detail.
As long as you understand the material and can retain the information, there’s no problem with reading at a faster pace.
How to boost your reading speed
Set a reading speed goal
One of the best ways to boost your reading speed is to set a goal. Having a specific target to aim for will give you something to work towards and help push you to read faster. A good starting point is average reading time (200 WPM).
However, depending on your current reading speed, you may want to set your sights even higher. Once you have a goal in mind, you can start working on ways to reach it.
One of the simplest ways to improve your reading speed is to time yourself. Start by finding a short passage—a paragraph or two should do—and setting a timer for one minute.
Next, start reading and see how much of the passage you can get through in that time frame. Once you have your baseline score, you can start working on increasing it.
One way to do this is by gradually increasing the amount of time you allow yourself to read. Another is by picking passages that are slightly longer each time.
Scan and preview
When reading dense material, it can be tempting to try to take in every word on the page. However, this isn’t always the most effective approach—especially if you’re trying to increase your speed.
Instead of trying to read every word, surveying the text first can help you get an idea of what it’s about and identify which parts are most important.
This way, when you go back and actually start reading, you can focus more on the key points and less on getting lost in the details.
Use your finger or a paced reader
Another way to help increase your speed is by using your finger or a paced reader.
A paced reader is a device that helps you read faster by moving a pointer across the text at a predetermined speed. As the pointer moves across the text, your eyes will naturally follow its movement, which will, in turn, help increase your reading rate.
Using your finger works in a similar way—just trace under the words as you read them and make sure that your finger moves at a consistent pace. Doing this will help train your eyes to move faster as they scan the text.
Don’t read every word
Whenever you sit down to read something, whether for school or pleasure, you probably feel like you need to read every word on the page in order to understand what’s going on.
However, that’s not the case. Scanning the text for keywords and main ideas can help you read faster and retain more information. It’s a bit like SEO, where search engines like Google scan for keywords on a page in search of the main ideas. That way, you’re able to get the most relevant results upon a Google search.
Additionally, if you come across a word you don’t know, look at the context clues around it and try to glean its meaning. Chances are you’ll be able to get the gist without needing to stop and look up every unfamiliar word.
Speechify – The text to speech app that reads at top speed
Speechify is a top-rated text to speech tool that can help you read faster.
The Speechify API allows you to listen to your content with just a click of a button. You can upload files such as Microsoft Word, web pages, PDFs, or even HTML files. This flexibility makes it easy to find content you can use to train your brain to read faster.
If you’re serious about increasing your reading speed, get started with Speechify right away.
What is the average reading speed?
The average person reads at a speed of about 200 WPM.
How long should it take to read 1000 words aloud?
Working with an average of 200 words per minute, it should take 5 minutes to read 1000 words aloud.
How long does it take to read 5000 words?
With a reading speed of 200 words per minute, it should take no more than 25 minutes to read a 5000-word piece of writing.
What is the average reading time for an article?
Generally, an article 1,000 words long will take about 5 minutes to read at the average pace.
What’s the difference between reading time and word count?
Word count tells you how many words are in a text, while reading time tells you how long it would take an average person to read that text.