Speed Reading for College: A Review of Speed Reader X
When I decided to go back to college as a single parent, it became apparent to me that I’d better find a way to make time for reading. There was just no way I’d be able to work, take care of my kids, and get through my coursework if I couldn’t carve more time out of my day. Some brainstorming led me to the idea of speed reading (in addition to some other great timesaving techniques I detail in this article). I remembered having a friend in high school who insisted she could do it, so I figured I’d give it a shot. There are a lot of speed reading products on the market – and I mean A LOT! I wasn’t about to spend my money and time on more than one, so I researched many of them before settling on Speed Reader X. Why’d I choose this particular program?
The price was right (I paid roughly $50).
They weren’t offering the sun, moon, and stars. I’m the type of person who is instantly put off by promises that just seem too good to be true, and most of the other speed reading products I researched claimed to be able to have me reading thousands of words a minute. Speed Reader X offered to at least double my reading speed, which made a lot more sense to me.
I loved the idea of interactive online courses (to me, the idea of reading a book about speed reading just seemed boring).
There were a number of positive reviews for Speed Reader X online. (You should definitely check out online reviews for this product before you buy if you truly want to make an informed decision.)
Here is my experience with Speed Reader X:
The premise. Basically, Speed Reader X claims that we all learn the “wrong” ways of reading from the time we are first taught to read in school. This affects the way our brains process what we read, and actually slows down our understanding. The premise of the Speed Reader X program is that it helps us unlearn faulty reading techniques so that we can reprogram our brains to register and soak up more information, in less time.
The program. Speed Reader X is broken up into ten courses. You must complete one course before moving on to the next and complete them in succession. You are instructed to give yourself a week for each course before moving on, to allow your brain to adjust to the new way of processing what you read. I didn’t like the idea of waiting, but now after completing the course, it makes sense to me. (Just, be prepared that you may become impatient at times.) The program interface is easy to use, and it even makes the learning process fun (okay, at least more fun than just reading a book). The results. Before I started the Speed Reader X program, my reading speed was 379 WPM. (Use the reading test found on this site to test your own speed.) That was enough to classify me as a “good reader” (on a scale from “insufficient” to “excellent.”) After completing the course, I could read 976 WPM. That’s an increase of 597 WPM – or, a little over a 250 percent improvement. Not bad. Drawbacks. Of course, Speed Reader X is not perfect. First of all, I skimped on my reading for a couple of months after my last test, and my score had dropped back down into the 500 WPM range. This means you have to keep practicing to keep your score up. Also, now that I can officially say that I am a speed reader, I can also say that some things just can’t be read through in a hurry. Speed reading works great for text that you can easily comprehend . . . but when it comes to reading text with a lot of new information or words in it, you’re going to have to slow down to understand it – no matter what.
Would I do this again? Sure, I would. I guesstimate that speed reading saved me at least five hours a week while I was in college full time. In my opinion, that’s $50 well spent. To try Speed Reader X, click here.