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This page is updated regularly with new questions and responses. If you have a question which is not answered here, please email us.

People learn differently. If you think you can learn speed reading from the book then, there is no need for you to come to the course. Have you ever learned any skill from a book? If the answer is yes, then have a go with the book first. Many people think they can learn from a book or tape but actually lack the discipline to follow through. With the course we can guarantee you will learn it in one or two days. The course is much more effective way of learning. It’s a bigger investment but the benefits are bigger too. The main benefit is that you will start saving a lot of time immediately and go through six books during the course. People read in a very inefficient way, wasting lots of precious time and energy.

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What is the difference between learning speed reading from your book (The Speed Reading Bible) vs coming to the course?

Yes. If you can read this sentence, then you can learn speed reading. The minimum age to attend Open Courses unaccompanied is 16 years. 

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Can anyone learn speed reading?
How can I use speed reading techniques to prepare for an exam better?

Here are some easy speed reading tips that can be tried now:
1. Turn your book upside down and read – this is often easier since the muscle at the back of the eyes in dyslexics don’t work together properly.
2. If dyslexics have problems scanning to the right rotate the book 90 degrees and read from top to bottom. (Source: The Lancet, 2003; 361: 2159).
3. Find the best position to read – start reading the book in front of you and then move it to your left and continue reading and then the right and continue reading. Notice in which position it is the easiest for you to read.

1) Concentration/focus – the physical/emotional aspect:
Hold your arms slightly away from your body, close your eyes, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly  and consciously relax your shoulders,  stomach, buttocks and thighs. Repeat.

2) While you’re doing the exam, consciously think about the details as well as the big questions so you don’t make the silly mistakes in the first place.

3) When you’ve finished the paper, you now need to look through the questions again as if you are the teacher, checking for silly mistakes. You really want this student to succeed, so you’re going to check everything. Any time you feel yourself tensing up, then do the relaxation/focus exercise in 1) before you continue. After a while it will get to be second nature. (Start practising NOW, so you find it easy in the exam)

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Since teaching speed reading and photoreading we have discovered that it is a particularly effective method for dyslexics. These methods encourage one to access thoughts in the order in which they come, which suits the dyslexics’ way of thinking. We have found that with this method usually for the first time in their lives the dyslexic is the first to finish the set exercises in the class.

In our opinion the reason why these methods work so well is because they allow the dyslexics to use their natural talents and not force them to use a system that doesn’t suit their way of processing information.

In addition to speed reading and photoreading we utilize many other methods to help with dyslexia including those of Ron Davis, the author of ‘The Gift of Dyslexia’, Educational Kinesiology, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), Brain Gym and many other Accelerated Learning strategies.

Can speed reading and photoreading help people with dyslexia?

Speed Reading is basically ‘normal sequential reading, only quicker – typically between two and ten times quicker. Speed Reading techniques include opening your peripheral vision, taking in more information with each fixation of your eyes, and scanning the page for hot spots of key information.

PhotoReading is both the PhotoReading Whole Mind System developed by Paul Scheele and one step of the system – the photoreading or downloading step – where you look quickly at all pages of the book trusting that they are registering in the non-conscious mind.

On our 2 day courses, we teach all the Speed Reading and PhotoReading techniques in a way which allows you to use them in whichever combination most suits your requirements (Strategic Reading).

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What’s the difference between Speed Reading and PhotoReading?

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How long does it take to learn speed reading?

Only one or two days, depending on where the course is run.

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I’m coming to your speed reading course next month. How can I prepare for it to get the maximum benefit? 

Preparation for the course.
Go to a bookshop or (preferably) a library and start looking through lots of books on subjects you think are important to you.
1) Look at the covers of 3-4 books on the same subject and decide on gut feeling alone which ones you think will be most useful to you.
2) Then spend not more than 5 minutes per book (same books) looking at the cover, the index, the chapter headings (the date of publication if relevant) and flicking through the books. Decide which ones you now think really are important to you and which ones you think will be less important for you. Notice where they cover the same information and maybe quickly look at the chapters relating to that information and decide which book is better.
3) Compare your first decisions with your second decisions. If they’re not the same, notice what it was that ‘deceived’ you when you were just looking at the covers the first time, since your second decision is likely to be more valid.
If you have time, read through two of the books ‘properly’ to see how good your decision-making is. (But don’t worry if you don;t have time for this last bit.)
The aim of this is to build you ability to choose the right books to read and therefore save yourself a lot of time reading unnecessary books. Also to build your ability to trust your ‘gut reaction’ as well as your ‘intellectual evaluation’.
Be ready to discuss what you noticed when you come on the course.

The non-conscious mind will take in the information whether the words are in focus or not, and whether the conscious mind is concentrating or not – so. Jan likes to photoread / download books while watching TV, as long as all four corners of the book are within his peripheral vision. Sometimes the conscious mind gets in the way of taking in information effortlessly which is why some people prefer to download without the words being in focus. I very often ‘rapid read’ the book (looking consciously at every page, possibly reading the top lines and then looking quickly at the rest, or just letting my eyes run down the page looking for any information which seems important), confident that my non-conscious mind will take in other information which I don’t notice consciously. (I therefore don’t often do downloading on its own.)

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How to PhotoRead or download a book?

Start speed reading techniques aged 15+: The speed reading approaches and techniques that we recommend are designed for adults. We recommend that young people start using the techniques after they’ve had some experience of reading conventionally and when they need to be more efficient. This is probably aged about 15+, at a time when they need to read more for study purposes rather than (or as well as) for pleasure.

Aged 5 – 15: read a lot, for pleasure: Before that, there is much to be gained from reading more slowly – you build up vocabulary, learn how sentences are structured, understand how stories develop. So the best thing children can do is to read as much as possible – of anything which interests them. It doesn’t matter whether that’s stories, football, factual information or comics. The parents’ main job is to offer them books by authors which they might not otherwise come across by themselves. But the worst thing you can do is turn children off reading by making it a boring chore. Foster a love of reading in any way you can – read yourself, talk about books you’ve read, and keep books available for them to ‘discover’ by themselves.
For all children we also recommend that parents and teachers help children  with ‘learning to learn’ techniques, which will lay the groundwork for improved reading skills. Recommended books for getting started are: The Great Little Book of Learning’ and ‘The Great Little Book of Revision’ both by John O’Brien, and ‘Accelerated Learning Pocketbook’ by Brin Best.

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Do the speed reading techniques apply to children? At what age should they start?

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How can I calculate my reading speed (wpm words per minute)? 


• Number of pages read …. (this is enough for most people, but if you want to be more accurate, then do the remaining calculations too)
• Average number of lines on a page …. (choose three representative pages, count the number of lines on each, add them together and divide by three)
• Average number of words in a line …. (choose three full lines, count the number of words in each, add them together and divide by three)
• Number of words read in five minutes …. (multiply together the three previous calculations)
• Reading speed in words per minute …. (divide the number of words read in five minutes by five)

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I get tired when reading for a long time. Any tips?


Do eye yoga. Exercising your eyes is important for achieving healthy sight. Strengthen and stretch your eye muscles by moving them clockwise, roll your eyes so you can follow the extremes of your vision. You can do this with your eyes closed. Don’t push too hard or strain your eyes. Once you have completed a clockwise circle, stop, rest and then roll your eyes anticlockwise. Repeat three times in each direction, then blink quickly a few times, and close your eyes and relax. More eye exercises

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