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Student Nugget: How To Read Super Fast With Full Understanding

It is the season of exams once again in Nigeria when students have to sit for university entrance exams like WAEC, JAMB and Post UTME. A lot of students are faced with a huge amount of workload in preparing for these exams. However, there are ways reading speed can be maximized and more subject material can be covered in less time. These tips are also useful for people who are interested in reading more self-development books, fiction or any kind of material in print in a lesser period of time.

Here are the tips below:

Familiarize yourself with key terms

There’s no faster way to get more at ease with a boring book than reading through the key terms. The key terms in this context include chapter headings, topics in the table of contents, vocabulary on the book’s back cover, emboldened words and review questions. You are probably used to the usual way of starting a book from cover to cover but if you can familiarize yourself with key terms before you start reading, you will get the gist of the contents in each chapter. So whenever you want to start reading a book, familiarize yourself with the key terms before you begin the actual reading.


Most times, the text in a book is way more than you actually need to assimilate. Hence, it would be beneficial to skim (read quickly, skipping some detail) through the book you are reading. Pseudo skimming (a concept initiated by Cal Newport, author of “How to become a straight A student”) is a very effective method of skimming. It involves scouting for the specific paragraphs containing the main ideas and concepts you need to remember. Once you’re done marking these paragraphs, you can now focus your attention on them.

Audio books are a good commodity

Audio versions are not available for all books especially academic content; nevertheless, there are still a good number of books that have them. Listening to audiobooks is an alternative to gain information from a book. The best way to listen to audiobooks is to increase the tempo by two times the original. You may think it is too fast at this rate but it really is not. For instance, if you have an audiobook of eight hours to listen to, increasing the tempo will reduce the listening time to just four hours. This will lead to you reducing the amount of time you are spending on the book. Another great advantage of listening to audiobooks is that you can do it while involved in other activities. This is something that is difficult to achieve when reading a hard-copy version.

Let Mastery Be The Utmost Goal


Reading comprehension is only part of the goal, Mastery is another. Comprehending a text will only take you far in passing exams but true knowledge comes through proper engagement with what you are reading. Proper engagement entails the process of taking notes, writing summaries and comparing what you’ve read with real-life situations in the world. When you do this, you become more creative in thinking and this leads to you create more concepts from what you have learned. Becoming a master is all about rising from consumer mode to creator mode.

The Challenge Is The Key To Mastery

Yes, you’ve read and covered all the material needed to ace that upcoming test but, perhaps, you’ve missed that key ingredient called practice. Practice always makes all the difference because you have to apply all the concepts you have learned to new questions and challenges the book throws at you. Those questions at the end of each chapter are what will prove if you understand the subject matter completely or if you have some revising to do. Always remember to solve all the questions at the end of each chapter. The more problems you face the better student you become. So, always go the extra mile by solving problems.

If you can introduce these five (5) methods into your daily reading habits, you will become more effective at reading more books in less time and digesting new material easily because you now have a strategy. Cheers!


Featured Image Source: Accelerate TV

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Samuel Okoruwa

My name is Samuel Okoruwa. I am an ardent researcher, reading is life and writing is fun.

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