View Full Version : Reading Speed

23rd May 2012, 08:59
Have a go at this - only takes 26 seconds (well that's what it took me). You have to answer questions afterwards, though.

LINK (http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/technology-research-centers/ereaders/speed-reader/index.html)

You read 434 words per minute. That makes you 74% faster than the national average.


Worrals in the wilds
23rd May 2012, 09:14
Cool. :ok:
833 words per minute. Wish you'd posted it before I cracked the bottle of red, because I reckon we're both going to get pasted when some of the JB regulars try this out. :O
I attribute success to the amount of BS I am expected to read at work. The weasel words and dodgy spelling all blend together after a while but there's the odd sentence you have to take notice of...:{

Arm out the window
23rd May 2012, 09:58
420 wpm - bloody hell, Worrals, you're nearly twice as fast as me and UFO and I don't consider myself a slouch. I think the bar has been set!

23rd May 2012, 10:09
Mine - [You read 388 words per minute. That makes you 55%
faster than the national average.]

Of course I'm not interested in Woking or Alice - now gimme
a Playboy and me results would be much much faster - such
as reading the bio of the centrefold bunny! :)

23rd May 2012, 10:42
440 = 76% ( + 2 extra characters to satisfy PPRuNe )

23rd May 2012, 11:00
I suspect one reads differently when one knows there are going to be questions.
I found myself rechecking sentences for specific facts.
My excerpt was from War of the Worlds.


I suspect all Service and/or Aviation types have read enough important documents to be way above the national average.
US National average I think. Anyone know if there are differences?

23rd May 2012, 11:37
My antivirus (Bullguard) has blocked the site on the grounds it may be malicious. Anybody know different?

23rd May 2012, 11:46
846 wpm and two out of three right - 86%

23rd May 2012, 11:59
438, which to me seems slightly low. But the written piece, I felt didn't flow well. I was always a quite a fast reader. I remember picking up a book on speed reading once. I read the relevant paragraph and timed it. 'By the time you finish this book', the next paragraph informed me cheefully, 'you'll be able to read that paragraph in two minutes.' As I'd read it in less time than that the book remained on the shelf.

Speedreading seems like a good idea until you spend 40 quid on a fat hardback and finish it in two sittings.

Ancient Observer
23rd May 2012, 12:05
Reading is a town on the M4. Speeding on the M4 is often caught by mobile cameras.

I thought this thread was going to be about speeding cameras on the M 4.

Evening Star
23rd May 2012, 12:05
1054 wpm and 322% faster. Exam marking time at the Ivory Tower so clearly in some fast reading mentality ... :8

23rd May 2012, 12:28
But the written piece, I felt didn't flow well.

I don't think Mr Wells was writing for speed readers.

23rd May 2012, 12:32
510 and all questions correct :)

23rd May 2012, 12:43
One of my wife's colleagues reckoned he scored 1350 or so - and that was "his normal reading speed". :hmm: I'm a bit suspicious, myself....

I scored almost exactly the same as Slasher. Too many playboys as well, I suspect :E

23rd May 2012, 13:08
611 3 correct but as Fox3 said, you read slower when you know there are going to be questions.

I read very differently depending on what the purpose is. Reading a lightweight novel (e.g. Dick Francis) I will sometimes read a page in a couple of seconds. I could not answer questions on every detail but get enough to keep the thread of the story. At the other end of the scale, proof-reading a draft copy of a new Ops Manual in a previous job, I voiced each sentence in my head (and sometimes out loud) to make sure it read well and made sense.

I think the speed that I read lightweight stuff makes eReaders very frustrating, as the pages seem to only hold half as much as a book page, and you only see one at a time (where I scan the two pages of an open novel in 3 or 4 seconds)

Edit - just went back to the page, and was looking at the scroll bar at the bottom to compare your speed. In case you didn't look, it goes as far as 1500 wpm (Speed reader) but then as you scroll right there is a huge gap - finally an entry at 4700 wpm, World Speed Reading Champion !!!!

23rd May 2012, 13:21
694 with 100% comprehension.

A bit slower than when I did a speedreading course long ago in degree studying days. Back then I managed Steinbeck's "The Pearl" in 35 minutes and ended the course by reading "The Life of Ghandi" in under an hour with >80% comprehension. I'm pleased I can still manage to speed-read a bit, despite Mrs BS's allegations of advancing senility. . . :oh:

23rd May 2012, 13:25
449 +100% comprehension

Alloa Akbar
23rd May 2012, 13:49
2800 wpm.. not a frickin clue about what it said.. :}

23rd May 2012, 13:50
100% comprehension

In this context, isn't 100% comprehension guessing the answers to 3 vote for Joes correctly?


23rd May 2012, 13:57
You read 828 words per minute.
That makes you 251% faster than the national average.

23rd May 2012, 14:02
Does this allow one to conclude anything of substance?

23rd May 2012, 14:07
>You read 300words per minute. That makes you 20% faster than the national average.

Non-native reader here.
3 out of 3 questions answered correctly.
And I recognised Herbert George W.'s text. :D

If you maintained this reading speed, you could read
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in 32 hours and 38 minutesHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling in 4 hours and 16 minutesThe Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien in 26 hours and 35 minutesCatch-22 by Joseph Heller in 9 hours and 41 minutesNineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell in 4 hours and 56 minutesThe Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in 17 hours and 19 minutesThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck in 9 hours and 25 minutesLast of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper in 8 hours and 5 minutesA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens in 7 hours and 31 minutesThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain in 6 hours and 5 minutesWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte in 6 hours To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee in 5 hours and 30 minutesThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger in 4 hours and 5 minutesThe Color Purple by Alice Walker in 3 hours and 42 minutesAll Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque in 3 hours and 26 minutesLord of the Flies by William Golding in 3 hours and 20 minutesSlaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut in 2 hours and 45 minutesAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll in 1 hour and 28 minutesThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum in 2 hours and 11 minutesThe War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells in 3 hours and 21 minutesThe Bible in 43 hours and 12 minutesWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy in 32 hours and 38 minutes

23rd May 2012, 14:32
Ok I will set the benchmark for those at the other end of the t-chart.

219 or -12% of the average. Three questions correct.

I am amazed that I did that well.

23rd May 2012, 14:43
You read 1,113 words per minute.
That makes you 345% faster than the national average

Have to admit I lost a bit of time scrolling down to see the last couple of lines. :p

(Apparently my primary school class was a test group for a speed reading program back in the 60's. Not sure I always get 100% for comprehension but I did get 120% for SRA in 3rd grade. :E)

23rd May 2012, 14:45
just puzzled about Harry Potter - I could (42% faster than average), but why would I?

23rd May 2012, 15:33
394 words per minute with all 3 questions answered correctly.

Results are as I suspected because I do not believe in reading quickly. I read to relax and gain knowledge, not as an exercise in racing. I've known several so-called "speed readers" in my life, none of whom could accurately describe a book in detail which they had read.

I take my time reading.

23rd May 2012, 18:13
I am sceptical about all of this.

Some time ago I saw a TV interview of the late Sir Isaiah Berlin. "Sir Isaiah", said the interviewer, "I believe you are reputed the best-read man in English literature! Would you care to comment?"

"No!", he replied, "That is unfair. But I am probably the best skimmer in English literature. Show me a book and I'll skim it in minutes.Then I'll know 80% of its contents."

"Gosh Golly!", thought I, "That's Davaar we are discussing."

I had just skimmed Carlyle's "French Revolution", not an easy skim; but I wondered what I had missed.

Now, though, I have read, not skimmed, the same book, five times. Not an easy read either. I took careful notes. Can't be done on speed-reading, and I do not give a tosser about JFK's boasts.

From my reading but not my skimming I know of General de Loiserolles and his son, and I have also made a connexion with Dickens. Very interesting. I could tell you, but why spoil it for you? Don't resort to Google. The book has only 700 pages or so. You'll find the General around page 550.

Incidentally, now I know whence the word "queue" entered the English language. Oh well! Who cares anyway? Do you?

23rd May 2012, 20:30
I agree with several others that there is a big difference between reading for 80%-ish comprehension, and reading for 100% comprehension which is what aviation types tend to do. I read so I could have answered any type of question, not just 3 vote for joes.

Anyone know of any national differences between English-speaking nations? Also, are languages other than English easier or harder to speed-read for factual comprehension?

23rd May 2012, 20:51
912 wpm, all 3 correct.

My reading speed does depend on difficulty of text. I recommend Douglas Hofstadter's 'Godel, Escher, Bach' (with questions afterwards) for a real reading speed test.............

23rd May 2012, 22:37
831 words per minute, all three correct :cool:

23rd May 2012, 22:46
You read 1,277 words per minute.
That makes you 411% faster than the national average.

And all three questions correct. Chaa.... CHING! :p

23rd May 2012, 23:15
432 wpm, 100%...............but it took me quite a few seconds to find the "finished " button.

Thus I am probably a faster reader but have certain other limitations regarding awareness................!

23rd May 2012, 23:23
You read 1,277 words per minute.
That makes you 411% faster than the national average.

Teachers' Pet !

24th May 2012, 00:09
Teacher's daughter! ;)

24th May 2012, 02:58
501. all questions answered correctly:eek:

24th May 2012, 04:04
Well I managed 227wpm yesterday with 2 out of 3 and 339wpm today with 3 out of three which makes me a slow reader I guess?

Never have any problem with those other tests that jumble all the letters in a word up and sometimes insert numbers, with only first and last correct so maybe that is the benefit of reading slowly? Just waiting for, "ireadat10500wpmandIgetallthoseothertestsrighttoo!

That could be "I ra4d at 10500wpm a9d I g3t a8l tshoe oet5r tstes rht2gt t7o!

24th May 2012, 05:24
are languages other than English easier or harder to speed-read for factual comprehension?

actually it depends on the syntax and vocabulary/terminology. Try speed-reading an insurance contract in any language :E.

24th May 2012, 09:50
I put my speed down to being deaf - my eyes get more exercise than the norm so are superiorly fit... :}

24th May 2012, 13:05
Insurance contracts tend to be of a formulaic order and thus should be readily read!!

24th May 2012, 19:40
How often over the years have I been handed a "formulaic" document, a lease or whatever, and committed the heresy of actually READING it. How eccentric can one be?

That is when I would find at paragraph 19 ff or so a quite different Lessee, a total stranger to the deal. Always the same explanation: It was Lessee five terms or so back in history. Yup! No one had ever read the damned thing in-between.

The RN used to call these "radar-assisted collisions".

24th May 2012, 23:09
Liam managed 88 wpm with 100% correct on the Alice in Wonderland extract. According to the comparison line that's just below 3rd grade level. He's 5 1/2 years old and goes to a Montessori school. He'd be in pre-kindergarten if he was at a public school. Quite chuffed, I am!

I managed 650 wpm and 100%.

24th May 2012, 23:21
You read 1,555words per minute.
That makes you 522% fasterthan the national average.

Got all three questions correct as well, probably lucky with that however.

Alice in Wonderland extract

Didn't see that one.

25th May 2012, 00:42
There were three tests available: War of the Worlds, Alice, and Wizard of Oz.

25th May 2012, 05:53
Fascinating. I have never ever thought about my reading speed. Generally, I believed that I read quite quickly. This was an anecdotal conclusion based on how productive I am at work, how well I study and how much information I seem to acquire compared to my peers. I had this impression as one the higher performers, not the highest, but pretty good.

Then I do this speed reading test and get 240 wpm (fortunately with 100% comp BTW). Compared to the 800 WPM bracket in this thread I was a tad surprised at how slow I am.

Anyway, a quick bit research later and I realised that the speed of reading is above 250 WPM is primarily about technique rather than ability. Something that I was not fully cognizant of, was also how I read. With familiar subject matter, I can assess in an instant if a particular passage is relevant. I can skim read and look for key words or patterns. I don't actually need to read much of the text and so can read large volumes of documentation very quickly.

However, when faced with a completely unfamiliar passage I seem to subvocalise. Trying another test just now and consciously not subvocalising increased my reading speed to over 410 WPM, but I think it will take a bit of practice to kill a habit of 40 years!

26th May 2012, 14:26
Technique. Anticipating what the text will be about (regardless of whether you get it right) improves comprehension. Taking in whole groups of words instead of one word at a time increases speed. That's what a speed-reading course is all about.

Arm out the window
27th May 2012, 00:20
Had done War of the Worlds first time and got 420 or so, Just had a go at the other two, 620 and 647 respectively. My reading speed has magically increased by about half in a couple of days ...

14th Jun 2012, 19:55
Would have been slower if I had not read War of the Worlds.

I once read War and Peace and Anna Karenina in the Gas Board's time. :bored:
(I left before they fired me).

My ambition is to rent a villa in Tuscany for the summer, tell everyone I am finishing a novel, and then when asked about it explain that I am a slow reader.:)

Milo Minderbinder
14th Jun 2012, 20:47
18 seconds - 618 wpm
But I've had a couple of pints

14th Jun 2012, 22:51
You read 643 words per minute.
That makes you 157% faster than the national average.

And got two out of three, although I had to read some of the first bit twice to make sure I actually got what it said. Too used to speedreading reports by just taking in every 10th word...:}

14th Jun 2012, 23:08
time it over an hour. And then see if you can answer questions which aren't based on multiple-choice guesswork.
That's unfair on us oldies who struggle to remember what we were thinking about ten minutes ago . . .