Improving medical students

Archive for July, 2007

Overclock Your Reading Speed

Posted by medliorator on July 30, 2007

From Kim Roach of The Optimized Life.

What many people don’t realize is that the mind becomes bored when it’s not constantly stimulated. When you are reading at your normal rates, the mind will become bored and begin to lose interest in what you are trying to learn.


At this average speed, most of us are actually reading the words to ourselves in our head, which is known as subvocalizing. This is where you are ‘hearing’ the words in your head, or even saying them to yourself as you read. A behavior like this slows down your reading significantly, so it’s the first thing to go when you’re learning to speed read.


To eliminate subvocalizing, you must practice reading faster than you can actually read. You can practice this skill with an online tool known as Spreeder.


1. Realize that reading is not from beginning to end, but rather point to point. When you are reading, you need to pick up the important points of the book, but that doesn’t mean that you need to read them in a particular order.In fact, I would suggest skipping parts of a book that you don’t need. Almost every book has a good point or two, but it is highly unlikely that you need to read every page of the entire book.

2. Try using a pacing tool. Whether it’s your finger or a pencil, try moving this tool along the lines of the book you are reading to keep you moving forward as quickly as possible.

Reading is a series of jumping snapshots called saccades. Using a visual guide prevents regression.

By moving your pacing tool faster than your normal reading rate, your eyes get used to viewing text faster than your brain can process the actual words on the page. This will enable you to break the habit of subvocalization.

3. Get rid of all distractions and possible interruptions. When you are trying to focus on what you are reading, you need to be in a comfortable seat in a quiet room. Distractions can severely interrupt your reading patters and decrease your comprehension of the text.

4. Try to read more than one word at a time. This is a speed reading technique known as chunking. By looking at ‘blocks’ of words as you read, you will allow your mind to process ideas and visual images instead of individual words.

5. Never move backwards. When you are speed reading, the main point is to keep moving forward and not stop to reread something. This is the most inefficient use of your reading time. Keep yourself moving forward at all times.

6. Think visually. One of the most effective speed reading techniques is to visualize the ideas on the page as pictures in your head. Huge portions of the human brain are dedicated to processing information visually, making them the fastest circuits in the brain for processing information.

Overclock your Reading Speed [zenhabits]

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Know your Learning Style

Posted by medliorator on July 24, 2007

Diablo Valley College & Suzanne Miller have made Catherine Jester’s Learning Style Survey available online. Jester identifies 4 learning types and offers descriptions and strategies for each.

Introduction to the DVC Learning Style Survey for College [DVC Online]

Posted in Study Tips, Tools | Comments Off on Know your Learning Style