There are a number of activities you can do to increase your comprehension while working on building your Speed and Comprehension. This article will cover three of them in the following paragraphs.
Speed and Comprehension: The Benefit of Increasing Your Vocabulary
One idea of increasing your understanding of what you’re reading is to improve your vocabulary regarding the subject you’re reading about. If you don’t know the definition of a particular word while reading it, the best thing to do to improve your vocabulary is IMMEDIATELY look up that word and memorize it using a funny Visual mnemonic. For example, the way I learned the word Cnidarian (the scientific name for a jellyfish) was by picturing a jellyfish sitting on my younger cousin Darian’s head. Also you can find vocabulary flashcards online, generally for free, for just about any subject you can think of, these can be used to help increase your vocabulary thereby improving your comprehension. Beyond all that, the simplest thing might be to just read the dictionary.
Speed and Comprehension: Stop Skimming as You Read
When you are skimming, you’re just scanning over the text you’re reading and hoping you retain some of it, it isn’t a good way to improve your speed and comprehension. You need to stop skimming to improve your comprehension, to do this you read every word and try to visualize the words in your head, sort of like watching an internal movie.
Speed and Comprehension: Changing Your Brainwaves
Your brain operates in states of physiological arousal called brainwave states, changing them is an important activity to boosting speed and comprehension. Generally when we are up and about our minds are in Beta state, focusing on the here and now, and what is preying on our minds. This is great for many parts of life, but reading isn’t one of them. To really increase your comprehension, you have to get your brainwaves into the Alpha state. This can be accomplished by sitting quietly, closing your eyes, and taking deep and slow breaths. Saying a sound like “oooooohmmmm” is what many eastern monks use as their mantra to reach the alpha state. When you feel you have reached a light trance, then begin your reading. Studies show that reading speed and comprehension can triple in this brainwave state. Another way you can get into an Alpha state, if you don’t want to meditate, is by using an EEG machine that monitors your brainwaves so you know when you have reached it. The trans-dermal electro-brain stimulator is another option to reach an alpha state, it clips on your ears and delivers a weak electrical signal that tricks your brain into an Alpha state. Lastly, using stereo headphones that are playing mp3s or CDs that have tracks called binaural beats recorded on them will lull your brain into an Alpha state. Give these ideas a try and watch how much improved your comprehension is!