Amazing Reading Experience

November 11, 2008

Wow! Once again, I have not been blogging in the longest time, and yet I get regular traffic. Odd.

Anyway, I have big news! I am starting college! I will be graduating high school at the end of this year, but I have already begun my college studies. It seems that whenever I say this, everyone either thinks I must be brilliant to be able to do both at the same time and even begin college early, or they think that it is not legitimate studies for college when you do it outside of the college campus. Regardless, I am not any more brilliant than anyone else, nor is it illegitimate to complete college from home. I have met more than one person who has done this. I even know of one who completed his college studies in less than 5 months and under $5,000 for the whole degree! Amazing, but not impossible.

My track is going to be leading me down the path of Computer Information Systems. Yes, a programming degree! Computers are a great enjoyment of my life, and I am already programming for my church website.

Ok, I have spent enough time on that. Moving on…

The program I am using to attain my degree is called CollegePlus!. One is Dynamic Memory and Study Skills, and the other is Maximum Speed Reading. Both of the curriculum are available to be purchased by anyone, and I highly recommend them.

Dynamic Memory’s focus is brain-based learning. The goal of the program is to teach you how to think. Have you ever had a school test, and you try to cram all of the information into your head for the test and a few days later can’t even remember what it is that you studied for? I know how you feel. I have had that happen many times, but after I used this program (and I am actually not quite finished with it) I was able to remember countless things, and without any effort. For example, my mom and my sister and I were shopping, and my mom had a list of about 16 things. She kept looking at it as though she couldn’t remember what she needed. I asked if I could help by memorizing the list. She handed me the list, and in under 30 seconds, I had completely memorized the list. As a matter of fact, I still remember every item on that list as of right now! I haven’t looked at the list since I memorized it, and I still have complete recall! I have used this tool in a multitude of ways already, and that is the least of them.

The other program is called Maximum Speed Reading. This is the focus of this post. I began this program first mostly because being able to read at almost quadruple my current reading speed sparked my curiosity. The program’s audio is about 4 hrs. from start to finish. I began the program with a reading speed of about 320 words per minute (wpm), which is the absolute norm for most people. After simply applying the techniques described in the course, I doubled my speed to just over 700 wpm, and still had good comprehension! As of this moment, I have increased my speed to over 1,000 wpm at my peak comprehension rate, which even surprised me!

Even so, I have been asked what my comprehension level is at that speed. Right now, my comprehension at that speed is normal, but there is another aspect of speed reading that is very important: Skimming and reviewing. I am not going to just read a book as fast as I can, put it down, and expect to have enjoyed it to the fullest. What you do is you skim the whole book, reading about a page every 2-4 seconds. You will comprehend very little the first few times you do this, and that is expected. Your brain is not used that that speed, even though scientists claim that the brain has the power to read over 9,000 WPM! With practice, you will be able to pick out key words and phrases as you skim, and you will be surprised at how much you will remember. After you skim, you read at your peak comprehension rate, which means you read as fast as you can understand, not any faster or slower. After you have done this, you can go back and review what you just read. With practice at this technique, you can read any book faster and remember more than you ever dreamed possible.

Now, on to my amazing experience. Drilling is part of the reading program, and one of the drills is a comprehension drill, which is a drill that simply guides you through the process I just described to you, for 45 min. At the beginning of the drill, I was directed to find a book I had not read but had been meaning to read, so I picked up Walter Chantry’s newest book Habakkuk: A Wrestler with God. I had started the book, but never made it past the intro. As the drill began, I decided to do something that would be expected of me later in my college coursework: to apply the speed reading and memory techniques that I had learned at the same time as I read the book. I skimmed the 100 page book in about 7 min. Since I had another 7 min. before I would be told to begin speed reading, I decided to skim the book backward, just for fun! I finished and I began to speed read the book, applying the memory techniques I had learned. After the 30 min. of drilling, I had read 83 pages of the book. Great. What is amazing is that I remembered nearly everything I had read! I went ahead and finished the book in just a few minutes.

After I finished putting the book away, I realized something. I just read a 100 page book in just under 45 min., and remembered the majority of what I had read! It boggles my minded at how that is possible, yet I did it! From now on, this is how I will read, and I will enjoy every minute of it.

If you are interested at all in anything I wrote about, please visit these links:

(Also, if you ever apply to CollegePlus!, PLEASE use my discount code: 4980. It will give you discounts and give me prizes. :) )

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