Should Speed Reading Techniques Be Taught in School?

I picked up a teach yourself book at a friend’s today about speed reading.  It states that with speed reading one can maximize their time and improve their reading efficiency.  I’ve never met people who speed read but it seems like such a good idea. If we all could speed read we would be able to go through all of the information we go through every day much more quickly, allowing more time for our work.  It leaves me wondering why speed reading isn’t taught in school as a skill – along with algebra shortcuts and writing short hand.

Do you think speed reading techniques should be taught in school?  Do you think or know if it really helps?

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  1. Mehmet Bolak on the 24th July

    My college English professor actually taught speed reading. It was really effective in chemistry and other courses where I had to read text books that weren’t very interesting.

  2. Andrew Price on the 24th July

    As somebody who can’t speed read: Absolutely it should!

    I hate having to spend 3 weeks to read a small paperback. I heard that speed reading actually makes you concentrate more and take in the meaning of the sentence faster.

    I’m 100% behind the idea 😀

  3. I would love to get information on speed reading. The idea sound really neat and good. And as we are constantly bombarded with information from all sides, it would be really helpful!


  4. John Braine on the 26th July

    I have a few of Tony Buzan’s books on memory techniques and his more general ‘use your head’ book. But I didn’t quite grasp the speed reading section in that. Have considered buying his speed reading book but suspect that it wouldn’t be very worthwhile for me personally.

  5. Luce on the 26th July

    Some kids (not to say people) have some learning and concentration problems… I think that teaching speed reading would just make them feel left out because if they already have difficulties to read, I don’t think you can expect them to assimilate the information faster. No?

    • Jeff on the 26th July

      That is a very concerning sentiment and the reason that North American schools allow so many students to fall behind their piers in the rest of the world.

    • Bret Juliano on the 26th July

      I agree with you but I’d have to also add on that I think that those kids who are capable or above the standard reading levels should be offered the chance to learn speed reading. I was that in elementary and I know speed reading would’ve helped me progress faster and further in my studies throughout even college.

  6. Victor Duwon Jackson on the 26th July

    Most speed reading techniques involve unlearning bad habits taught in school. For example. Instead of reading each word individually, you read words in groups of 3 or 4. Or, forcing yourself not to move your lips or subvocalize. These bad habits slow down your reading.

    I think speed reading should be taught, but only after fundamentals are learned. Perhaps in Junior High (Is it still called that), or early high school.

    I read through a lot of the Tony Buzan books several years ago, and still believe firmly in those techniques. They have helped me tremendously throughout my career.

  7. Nick Young on the 26th July

    Having been a lecturer at an FE/HE college here in the UK for 6 years, I would say that the focus should be on basic reading, which many still have trouble with even after they leave school at 16.

    So personally, at school no, at college maybe and university more than likely.

  8. Yaritsa on the 27th July

    Interesting, I’ve actually been meaning to look into speed reading (or just reading faster than I do now). I have also heard it helps comprehension and retaining what you’ve read. I’m curious what booked you picked up and whether you feel it was helpful. Suggestions are welcome!

  9. Ana da Silva on the 16th August

    I put together a few helpful links:

  10. Alison Rowan on the 16th August

    In seventh grade, I had an amazing English teacher–the kind who was really passionate about the subject, and you could tell. Years later, I maintain that effective reading techniques were the single most important thing she taught us. I still remind myself of her motto for picking out important information: “Skim and scan!”

  11. Christopher on the 14th September

    Thanks for such a guiding article. I love to learn and took a profound interest in speed reading and speed reading programs a couple of years ago when I decided to go back to school. I did quite a bit of research on speed reading and programs that help with speed reading in order to help me gain the edge in school. I saw my reading speed increase from 208 to 710 in less than 3 weeks using one program in particular – the eyeQ program from Infinite Mind. I try and recommend this program to those that seeking more information about speed reading and your article is a great help to those seeking information. Thanks for the post. is their website for those interested.

  12. Karon Amann on the 3rd October

    I teach Rapid Reading to high school students who want to improve their reading speed and comprehension in order to increase their ACT scores as well as their GPA. By the second or third week of my course, nearly everyone in all the classes has doubled or even tripled their initial reading speed. I have invented a speed reading technique called “Cruising” which allows students to easily read materials they would never have thought to read before due to time limits. I have a patent on this technique, which includes a speed reading card.

  13. Donna Olson on the 19th February

    I have developed and tested a speed reading program for middle schoolers. Many students can double their reading speed and comprehension in just one day. All showed positive growth. Recent brain and reading research indicate that increasing speed is an essential element in increasing comprehension.

    The person who holds the Guiness Book of World Record reads 10,000 words a minute. Yes, 10,000. Most people read about 200 words per minute. “Read and Remember” is a simple system you use to change your reading habits. Students with learning disabilities have had success also.

    What could YOU accomplish if you could learn to read 700 to 1000 w.p.m in a few weeks?

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