Reading skills


The Most Effective Course on Speed-reading and Comprehension Ever Developed
Learn how to read both quickly and in depth over a wide range of subjects, and then to be able to appreciate, analyze and evaluate what you have read with clear and incisive intelligence.

The course teaches in-depth reading techniques that greatly improve literary intelligence, so that you can clearly perceive the ideas and values that the writer is expressing and relate them to those of other authors and so be better able to make objective conclusions.

Benefits to you...

Ineffective education
According to expert reports, the average score on the SAT (the Scholastic Aptitude Test used in the USA for university entrance) has fallen by at least 20% over the last 30 years. Three students out of four at university have failed to reach the level of "formal operations," which is the ability to formulate hypotheses and systematically test them to arrive at an answer to a problem. To be able and creative with abstract ideas, in other words.

The majority are stuck at a "concrete" level of thinking, in which they can only think usefully about actual physical objects and events. Outside of a particular context the underlying principles do not transfer. Abstract reasoning is beyond them, or uncomfortable for them, so they are unable to fully participate and profit from education at a higher level. These are the students who cannot apply what they have learned, because the abstract and the concrete are two unconnected things for them: the result is a mind-body split.

The value of reading
Why has this occurred? Young people read far fewer serious books today and spend less time in intellectual discussion; in contrast, they spend many more hours in watching TV programs with little or no intellectual content: MTV, soaps and sport. Many young people have been brought up on the 30 second sound bite and pap, so their attention span is shorter than it was before, their vocabulary is much reduced, and many fail to achieve communication competence and literacy. The pleasure principle has taken over from the reality principle; immediate gratification rules supreme. Those who depend on TV and video games for stimulation do not have the disposition to think abstractly nor the training to do so well; they are on the receiving end and have no chance to think creatively. They do not benefit from the stimulation of imagination that reading provides.

One gets behind in studying a subject, it becomes harder and harder to keep up, until the teaching becomes incomprehensible. In the case of reading, this also has a carry-over effect on the other subjects, for which reading skills are pre-requisite. This is called the "Matthew Effect" by psychologists. If a pupil has reading difficulties at the start of his education, he will fall further and further behind through the years of his education at junior school. His or her brain may have been slow to develop, maintaining the dream-like Theta brain waves of infancy at a high level, making it hard to focus on learning. Unless he has individual remedial support, the pupil will probably give up studies altogether at secondary school, and his IQ will drop by more than twenty points - even though it may have been well above average when tested as a small child. As our reading course will teach the basic and advanced reading skills that few students ever fully acquire, this makes it possible to accelerate in learning skills as an adult, and overtake those who had moved ahead back in school days. As a consequence, this course can increase a student's IQ by ten points or more, which makes a great deal of difference in real-life aptitude and career opportunities.

Even for those of us who had a good education, if we forget all that we learned and never exercise our mental skills with new and challenging tasks, our reasoning ability and effective IQ will deteriorate. We may have an established expertise at work but for most of our time make the minimum mental effort. It is a fallacy that IQ and mental capacity is inbuilt and unchanging. Like physical fitness, if you don't use it you will lose it!

As yet, this downward trend continues and the situation deteriorates with each year that passes. Ultimately, this could even spell the end of our free democracies, which require participants to have an aware and critical mind. Can anything be done about it?

Self-directed education
Yes, for those that care, it is possible to 'get an education' even at an advanced age, and to build up the mental skills one had before or which were never properly developed. That is what the Mind Development courses are intended to achieve. Power Reading, our fifth course, specifically addresses the above-mentioned problems. Most significantly, it will help you develop independence and freedom in the world of ideas. That is so vital because it is your thoughts and ideas that form the basis for the life you live.

With this new home study course you can double your reading speed and supercharge your brain's capacity to digest, remember and implement huge amounts of information... essential ingredients to success in your profession and in your continuing education.

We all learn to read at school, after a fashion. But for most of us, this is not an optimal use of our brain power. In this course you will learn to better use the left brain's focused attention combined with the right brain's peripheral attention, in close harmony. Good communication between the brain hemispheres is a prerequisite for creative thinking and also a sense of well-being, where thoughts and feelings are integrated.

Reading may be defined as an individual's total inter-relationship with symbolic information. Reading is a communication process requiring a series of skills. As such reading is a thinking process rather than an exercise in eye movements. Effective reading requires a logical sequence of thought patterns, and these patterns require practice to set them into the mind. The methods currently used in schools do not touch on the issues of speed, comprehension and critical analysis and indeed all those skills which can be described as advanced reading techniques. In short, most of your reading problems have not been dealt with during your initial education. By using appropriate techniques, the limitations of early education can be overcome and reading ability improved by 500% or more.

The average reader can take in about 250 words per minute. Really fast readers are much faster. The champion of the 2005 Mind Sports Olympiad, Anne Jones of England, read 26,152 words in 17 minutes (1,538.4 words per minute). She comprehended 56.7 percent of what she read, leading to an adjusted 869.2 words per minute. Usually comprehension drops markedly if a person tries to read at speeds in excess of 1,000 words per minute, as shown above. In our experience, the maximum sustained reading speed with a bright student, on light material, with 90% comprehension is about 1,000 words per minute. Reading speed for something like a chemical textbook would be little more than half that, say 600 words per minute. The fastest reading speed we have seen is about 1,200 words per minute, reading a science fiction novel, and this in the case of a very high I.Q. student.

Maximum comprehension is tied to thinking speed. Very short passages - two or three pages at most - can be read at 3,000 to 4,000 words per minute, but this speed can only be maintained for about twenty seconds or so, then there is a barrier, as if some buffer has been filled to capacity. The brain would need 30 to 60 seconds to rearrange itself before you could do this again, so the average reading speed would still be in the region of about 1,000 words per minute. Therefore, if anyone says that a sustained reading speed of several thousand words per minute is possible, and many adverts claim this, they are talking out the top of their hat. A sensible target for our students is 800 words per minute. Most students should be able to do that, and as a result be able to dramaticlly speed their studies.

Learn to read more effectively ... and more
Power Reading will teach you to read much faster and at the same time to have a greater understanding of what you have read. These are obviously great advantages. There is another major benefit. Most of us, as we read, 'speak' the words in our heads. It is this sub-vocalization that holds back fast reading and it is unnecessary. It is possible to have an inner speech, a kind of 'thought awareness,' that isn't linked to the tongue, mouth and vocal chord muscles, and this is much faster and more fluent. Cutting out the identification of vocalization and the stream of thought gives a surprising by-product. Many of us think that our constant sub-vocalized 'speaking voice' is who we are. Finding out that you can think and be aware without a vocal stream of words, opens up your awareness to the usually unrecognized domain of intuition and higher consciousness. You'll have a better sense of who you really are.