- Become a Speed Reader by Taking the Right Course
- Top 9 Best Speed Reading Courses 2021
- 1. Speed Reading Mastery: Double Your Reading Speed in 30 Days
- 2. Become a SuperLearner 2: Learn Speed Reading & Boost Memory
- 3. The DEFINITIVE Course on Speed Reading
- 4. The 7 Skills of Speed Reading
- 5. Iris Speed Reading Foundation Course
- 6. Learning Speed Reading
- 7. Speed Reading Mastery: Double Your Reading Speed in 7 Days
- 8. 10X SUPERHUMAN Learning: Speed Reading & Memory Booster
- 9. Speed Reading Simplified
- Frequently Asked Questions
- The 2021 Guide to Speed Reading
- Final Thoughts
The average American only reads four books a year. Bill Gates, on the other hand, reads over fifty. Most of us want to be somewhere in between. However, we rarely have spare hours every day to read, so we use this excuse of “inefficiency” to avoid reading at all.
This needs to end. We like to read (when it is the right book), we want to read (because knowledge is power), and sometimes we have to read (because that is what our job or studies require). So what do we do?
One powerful solution that is turned to by the greatest minds in the world is speed reading. Both Presidents Kennedy and Carter learned to speed read, and speed reading courses are offered regularly to workers at Google, Disney, and NASA.
The benefits of a speed reading course are for everyone and are about finding your maximum potential rather than reaching a specific goal for every reader.
Become a Speed Reader by Taking the Right Course
There are many people out there offering speed reading courses using a variety of techniques. These people come from many areas of education and experience and often make very large claims. To know you are learning from someone you can trust, we’ve broken down the main factors we believe make the best courses for speed reading.
Avoid Big Claims
Most speed reading experts agree that it can take months of practice to fulfill your potential as a speed reader, and even then you may only ever double your speed. Often, it depends on how fast you already read.
Courses that earnestly claim you could read ten thousand words a minute, or that you can triple your reading speed in a day, should be avoided.
Listen to the Experts
There are no university degrees in Speed Reading, and no best way to confirm the expertise of a teacher. However, we believe that by answering three questions, you can tell if a teacher is worth listening to. These are:
- Does the teacher refer to the science behind reading?
- What do other students say about this teacher?
- How has speed reading helped the teacher in their other work?
Look for teachers that previous students have loved, teachers that talk openly about myths around speed reading, and teachers that come from backgrounds that show how the skills have helped them.
Think About What Else You Will Need to Learn
Speed reading is only one skill that helps with study. Courses that also include lessons on note-taking, memorization, and organization may help you in other areas of your life.
Consider Your Resources
As with any education, courses can have varying expenses. If you have little time and little money, looking for a short course available through a free trial might be beneficial. However, if you are ready to properly invest yourself into developing this invaluable skill, it may be worth spending a couple of hundred dollars to receive the very best education.
Some courses also require you to use other computer software or use their eBooks. Keep these things in mind when choosing the course that is right for you.
For more information about how speed reading courses can help, and what you can do right now to read faster, check out our full guide below.
Top 9 Best Speed Reading Courses 2021
1. Speed Reading Mastery: Double Your Reading Speed in 30 Days
- 1 hour $94.99
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Brandon Hakim
- Takeaway: Double or triple your reading speed in the next 30 days
- Extras: One extra article and certificate of completion
Why we like it
Simple and Engaging, this course will get you excited to be reading more often, not just faster.
In a short period of time, this course guides you through four core techniques required to become a faster reader, as well as bonus exercises to take you to the next level if you want to try.
Before it does this, the course goes through why we want to read faster, how it can help us, and some of the mistakes we already make that slow down our reading. This is quite helpful as it puts you in the right mindset for the next lectures.
“Speed Reading Mastery” also covers topics like “how to read more books”, “how to make what you are learning interesting” and “when speed reading isn’t right for you”. This last lesson was something we enjoyed as some teachers refuse to admit that speed-reading isn’t always the best way.
Brandon Hakim doesn’t have much experience outside teaching this course, and his degree is in Business, but he has put a lot of love and care into his presentations. While this isn’t a course that has interactivity, reaching out to get help or offer feedback will get replies.
This is perhaps too short a course for the money it asks for. However, it is engaging, well structured, and contains useful lessons and exercises. Students love the simple, easy-to-follow instructions, and the feeling of getting somewhere quickly.
While not run by an expert, or in any sort of depth for its price, this is one of the better beginner courses for speed reading that you can find. That said, those looking for a course taught by a proven expert in the field should look elsewhere.
- Well structured, and without “filler” material.
- An engaging teacher who is easy to communicate with.
- Covers bonus topics.
- Quite short compared to others in the same price range.
- The teacher has no formal training or experience.
2. Become a SuperLearner 2: Learn Speed Reading & Boost Memory
- 5 hours $129.99
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Jonathan Levi, Lev Goldentouch, Anna Goldentouch
- Takeaway: Learn to read three times faster than the average college graduate and master the skills that win world championships
- Extras: A large number of articles and resources, certification of completion
Why we like it
A science-backed approach with more material than you will know what to do with – this course has it all.
The SuperLearner course is designed to be taken as a university unit, though it is far more accessible. The authors recommend at least two hours of practice a week, and that the course is best taken over seven or more weeks.
This course is one of the few that goes into the neuroscience of memory, and the scientific basis of the exercises and skills you develop. We appreciate the academic vigor of the teachers, ensuring that this course is more than simply a few short videos by an enthusiast.
The course puts as much emphasis on comprehension and memory as speed-reading, claiming that its techniques provide 80% comprehension of things even when read at speed. They also spend time helping develop long-term memory techniques.
The course comes with quizzes to ensure learning, flashcards for revision, and many exercises to help you practice.
Jonathan Levi started his first eCommerce company while only sixteen, which became one of America’s fastest-growing companies before being sold in 2011. He has written many books on his experiences and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, and Psychology Today.
Jonathan’s lessons are backed by the expertise of Professor Anna Goldentouch from Ben Gurion University, and Dr. Lev Goldentouch, who received his master's in Machine Learning (AI) at 27 years of age. This neuroscientific knowledge, which has been tried and tested in university teaching environments, ensures that the skills discussed work.
This is the best course in speed reading you will come across. While expensive, you get better value for money than many less-costly choices. Lessons that could be called dry in other hands become engaging learning experiences, while each skill is discussed in both theory and practice.
If there was a complaint to be had, it would be how “hands-off” the course is. While we think everything you would need is given, it is next to impossible to get feedback from the teachers. While we disagree, some reviewers were also not excited to find the number of recommendations for books, videos, and other courses that were included in the notes.
Overall, this is a highly comprehensive course, presented professionally. If you use it to completion, you will walk away with a greater understanding of memory and reading than you would from any other course - and would likely be tempted to want more. While expensive, and perhaps too theoretical for some, this course ticks all our boxes. Those looking for a cheap overview, though, might prefer this alternative.
- Scientific backing of techniques.
- Large range of other resources, including quizzes and flashcards.
- Passionate and educated teachers.
- Difficult to receive feedback.
- Many recommendations for other courses and paid material.
3. The DEFINITIVE Course on Speed Reading
- 2 h $94.99
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Matt Wong
- Takeaway: Double your reading speed within the first five minutes, with eventual results being up to ten times faster
- Extras: A large number of resources, certificate of completion
Why we like it
One of the most engaging courses out there, this course helps you not only read faster but gain motivation to read more.
With well-produced animations and a voice you could fall in love with, this course’s videos are some of the best you can find. While there are only 2 hours of videos, every second is high quality. Check out this “demo video” and decide for yourself.
The course comes with quizzes, exercises, and a bunch of articles to help you, and doesn’t let itself end at speed reading. Bonus videos teach you ways to organize your reading time and get more motivation to read, and the course also offers free software to help encourage you to read.
Matt Wong doesn’t have experience learning or teaching about neuroscience or education, and that might normally give us pause. However, Wong might well be defined by the Einstein quote, “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
While formally educated as a lawyer and classical guitarist (with degrees in both), Wong ran a high-end medical clinic that introduced genomic testing to the Australian public, published a book, got his pilot’s license, and created a manufacturing company for nuts. While never formally trained as a teacher, his presentations are better than most educators we have ever come across.
Videos that are fun and educational to watch, quizzes that force us to admit what we don’t yet understand, and extra resources to help us with the difficult stuff. This course has it all. Not afraid to take the best from every corner of the world, it shows us how both classical and modern speed reading techniques work and what we can take from each of them.
From the science of eye movement to how organizing our library can motivate us to read, this course covers a wide range of topics without ever feeling like it has done so superficially.
- Videos that are exciting to watch.
- Covers both classical and modern techniques.
- Includes lessons on reading motivation.
- Contains a lot of bonus material.
- The teacher is not formally trained in the subject matter.
- Only 2 hours of actual video.
4. The 7 Skills of Speed Reading
- 9.5 hours $29.99
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: May Ling Lai, Katya Seberson
- Takeaway: 3 to 5 times faster reading, with higher comprehension, and greater enjoyment of reading
- Extras: A dozen downloadable resources, certificate of completion
Why we like it
By breaking down speed reading into distinct skillsets and providing good explanations of each, May Ling Lai has given us practical know-how and advice on how to approach the topic.
Breaking down the task of speed reading into easy-to-follow blocks of skills and knowledge makes this course far more accessible than others. The course teachers are confident enough to point out what they believe are flaws in other courses, and do their best to provide backing to their arguments.
While firmly designed with business people in mind, it is general enough in content to be worthwhile to the academic student or simply the person wanting to speed-read for enjoyment.
The course comes with decent downloadable exercises to help implement the skills discussed. There are no formal assignments or quizzes, and feedback is on the onus of the student.
Previously of Goldman Sachs, and now an international financial consultant, May Ling Lai is the real deal of business professionals. Now she offers the techniques she uses in her work to others, drawing on her own experiences.
It’s clear that she has recognized that experience doesn’t always lead to good teaching, however, and so has worked with Katya Seberson, a neuroscience-based trainer, to ensure what she wants to say is understood by her students.
The video presentation of the content leaves a lot to be desired. Both sound and lighting are amateurish, and the resolution of the video files blocky. However, if you can get past these presentation issues, the content is really helpful.
This is probably the most structured course you can find, set in easy-to-follow modules that break down the ideas and exercises into bites you can handle. While there are no formal sessions with the teachers, they are very approachable when you reach out for help, and actively encourage doing so. They offer great examples of reading material to practice with, and their summaries of what they are teaching are great for revision.
For a structured set of lessons, albeit poorly presented, this is a wonderful course for those who need things with strong structure. Those who want something a little more self-directed might prefer this course instead.
- Highly structured course.
- Presented with downloadable exercises.
- Teachers are engaged and want to help students who reach out.
- Isn’t well presented for a video course, with low-quality videos.
- A little too much focus on the business world.
5. Iris Speed Reading Foundation Course
- 3 h $300
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Iris Reading, Paul Nowak
- Takeaway: Increased reading speed and development of practical strategies to enhance comprehension
- Extras: Two eBooks, free access to software, certificate of completion
Why we like it
The course recommended by governments, universities, and Fortune 500 companies is available to anyone who can afford it.
With a high focus on practical skills, and using modern technology to help develop these skills, the Iris Foundation Course is a step above the rest. While it has been available in real life for decades, the ability to now take it online, with lifetime access to the lectures and material, is amazing.
The course goes through step-by-step through the core techniques of speed reading, with examples, practice exercises to perform, and ways to evaluate how well you are doing with each technique. It even includes online software to help develop these key techniques at your own pace.
The first lectures are quite long, and not as well broken up as some other courses, but they are also not bloated - the material they hold is almost all gold.
This is a highly recommended course that is taken by professionals around the world. Iris courses have been taken by professionals training at Google, the Red Cross, NASA, and CNN. When it comes to having a certificate of completion, this is the course that looks good on a resume.
Paul Nowak is a mystery. After days of research, we have no idea what his qualifications are, or his work experience before moving into the field of teaching Speed Reading. This usually raises red flags.
However, if there is a university on this globe that brought in someone to teach speed reading, that someone was likely Paul Nowak. If a government agency offers a seminar on speed reading, you will walk into the room to find Paul Nowak. There is no teacher as charismatic, as confident, or as successful as Nowak, and his work has been trusted by the biggest companies in the world.
This isn’t the perfect course, but it is one of the best for practical advice that goes into detail about how and why the exercises can help you. The videos are quite enjoyable to watch and you will return to them often.
It would have been easier to have the larger lectures broken up, but we understand it is because they are the same lectures you would get in real life, at the far more expensive seminars.
While expensive, this introductory course is often at a discount. If you are still concerned, Nowak also offers a shorter version via LinkedIn, which is worth checking out. If you find yourself wanting more, there are intermediate and expert courses that can take both reading speed and comprehension to the next level.
While the structure of the course may not be perfect, and it is expensive, this world-renowned series of lectures are both useful in your resume and a necessity for professional development.
- Is chosen by Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.
- Charismatic and engaging teacher.
- The same material as the more expensive, in-person classes.
- Full of videos and exercises.
- Lesson videos are quite long.
- Most expensive course on our list.
6. Learning Speed Reading
- 1 hour Free (with 1-month trial)
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Paul Nowak
- Takeaway: improving reading speed and comprehension
- Extras: exercise files
Why we like it
This short taster of Iris’ larger course is, believe it or not, free to anyone willing to sign up for a trial.
This short course is, in some ways, a “taster” course for Nowak’s Iris Speed Reading Foundation Course course that we featured earlier in this list. While it won’t take long to go through, it still offers tips and strategies that can help before you decide to invest time and money into really developing these skills.
In some ways, this course is better than a lot of other beginners that may cost close to a hundred dollars. Time is used efficiently here like you would hope any speed reader does.
We’ve discussed Paul Nowak before, so it is best to read through what we said under the Iris Speed Reading Foundation Course.
In this shorter course we get to see Paul as he speaks directly to us, with that clear confident voice that only teachers who are comfortable with their material can offer.
Considering this is a course you can get via a free trial, and it can be audited in an afternoon, we highly recommend this as a starting point for anyone who is not yet sold on the idea of speed reading.
It’s nice to not be told “You will get to X ability by the end of this course.” We love the clear honesty when Nowak says “if you practice the exercises discussed in this course, I think you'll find yourself reading significantly faster, while also improving your comprehension and retention of the material.”
If only all courses were as up-front, inviting, and accessible as this one. That said, it won’t get you all the way—you’ll need to follow it up with a full-length course if you want to improve your speed even further.
- Free short course for those not yet convinced by the idea of speed reading.
- Run by the owner and teacher of one of the bigger courses.
- Engaging videos.
- Only covers the very basic concepts.
- Doesn’t have much content.
7. Speed Reading Mastery: Double Your Reading Speed in 7 Days
- 3 hours $19.99
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Jordan Harry
- Takeaway: Double reading speed and improve comprehension and note-taking
- Extras: E-book “The Quick Guide to Speed Reading”, downloadable resources, access to online applications, certificate of completion
Why we like it
Using easy-to-remember mnemonics and including a great eBook, this series of videos is great for beginners.
This course is an extremely popular introduction to speed reading, using easy-to-recall methods for speed reading and memory retention. The three hours of video are broken down into bite-sized chunks that sometimes make certain videos appear more important than others.
This course focuses on the Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) method and their patented F.A.S.T strategy (First Assessment, Active Reading, Storage, Transfer). While the discussion of how these methods can be used is there, the science behind how they may work is not.
It’s great that a short e-Book has been provided as another resource to access, although it does repeat the same information.
Jordan Harry is a co-creator of StudyFast, a company dedicated to speed-reading education. His work has been featured on TEDx, BBC, Virgin StartUp, and LBC Radio. He also runs the Brain Hustle Podcast.
However, if experience and education are important to you, we should point out that Harry has little of either. Having a bachelor of Arts from the University of Bath, his work experience is unknown, other than that he is also currently working as a salesperson. While an engaging speaker and, to some, quite charismatic, there is a question about the reliability of his teachings.
There are understandably mixed reactions to this course. For someone completely new to speed reading, it offers an easy-to-follow beginning to its world but asks you to accept its word blindly. It doesn’t expect a large investment of time or money and doesn’t scare you off with anything too complex.
For those more skeptical about the concept of speed reading, however, or hoping for a deeper look into how they can improve their reading, this course doesn’t offer enough. To get a background of the field, try this course instead.
We were also not so keen on a lot of the course involving simply sending the students to other sites and applications. While other courses have done this, they have generally broken down why these sites and apps are worth exploring.
Another user pointed out a concerning element we might have missed. Much of the video in this course can be found completely for free elsewhere, provided by Harry himself.
While this course packages that information better, for those seeking a cheaper experience it may be worthwhile spending some time online searching what Harry has already released free-of-charge.
- Taught by a professional previously discussed by BBC and TEDx.
- Contains a bonus eBook.
- Uses easy-to-remember mnemonics.
- A little too much advertising.
- A lot of this information has been provided for free by the same teacher.
- Little discussion of why things work.
8. 10X SUPERHUMAN Learning: Speed Reading & Memory Booster
- 8 hours $94.99
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Silviu Marisk
- Takeaway: Boost your reading to 1000 words a minute and learn anything 2 to 3 times quicker
- Extras: Downloadable resources, certificate of completion
Why we like it
While hyperbolic in claims, this course does cover a broad range of ways to improve your learning ability.
This course is broken into three distinct sections: speed reading, note-taking, and memorization. While the speed-reading section is solid and better than a lot of other courses out there, we were most impressed by the note-taking exercises promoted here. Being able to properly summarize large chunks of text quickly is often far more helpful than attempting to memorize all of it.
Some aspects of the course were a little questionable. A short discussion about nutrition appears to have no scientific backing, while other parts seem to be cut-and-pasted from other sources.
While the title of this course is hyperbolic, it offers real goals to aim for. In terms of speed reading, that goal is 800 words per minute. Fast, by most standards, but obtainable by most students who finish the course.
Silviu Marisk previously worked as a project manager for IBM and now devotes his time entirely to creating online courses to help others. While we sometimes found his accent problematic when half-listening to the videos, he comes across as confident in his knowledge.
This course can be quite helpful for students especially, as note-taking plays a larger role than in others. In some places, it is a little repetitive and the eight hours of video could be edited down to five quite easily. On the other hand, the notes provided on top of these are invaluable.
While other courses at this price may better suit some, many students will find the best help in “Superhuman learning.”
- Tackles other important issues like note-taking and memorization.
- Has great additional material.
- A large amount of content.
- A little too repetitive.
- Accents may be a problem for some.
- Diversive material has little factual basis.
9. Speed Reading Simplified
- 1 hour $94.99
- Course Highlights
- Taught By: Richard Walton, Scott Paton
- Takeaway: Five to ten times increase in “reading comprehension” by the end of the course
- Extras: Four articles, one downloadable resource, certificate of completion
Why we like it
High production values and some great nuggets of advice from experienced teachers make this course worth considering.
Over twenty-one lectures, the team of teachers from “Speed Reading Toronto'' breaks down their technique which involves hand motion, visualization, and meditation. They emphasize the importance of the exercises they provide and suggest that a large amount of practice will be needed to fully benefit from their lectures.
Richard Walton has been working at teaching for decades - everything from high school maths to training businesses in financial consulting. He has also worked with several organizations that train in speed reading and is a hypnotist.
Scott Paton is the producer of the course, previously working as a podcaster as early as 2005. He has produced hundreds of live and online courses and has been specializing in helping professionals present their knowledge on Udemy for some time.
This has been a very popular course to take for many, and we believe this is in part due to how well it has been marketed and presented. However, this isn’t a course for the money-conscious. While it has high production quality in the films and contains useful advice and skills to practice, nearly a hundred dollars for only an hour’s worth of film is a lot to ask.
Some great advice and high production value, but we only recommend this course for those who can afford it. Those who aren’t quite sure its worth the money should try a cheap alternative first.
- High-quality production values.
- Clearly and efficiently discusses skills.
- Many articles included.
- Quite expensive for such a short course.
- The high popularity of takers may not reflect the enjoyment of students.
Frequently Asked Questions
When trying to learn more about speed reading, many of our readers find themselves asking the same questions. To help you on your search, we’ve found the answers to the most common and provided them below.
The average adult reading speed is between 200 and 300 words per minute )wpm). A college student may ready slightly faster, at around 400 wpm. Most speed reading courses claim to help you reach speeds of up to 600wpm, but you should be wary of those who claim to help you reach thousands.
While there is little scientific evidence supporting any impressive improvement in reading or comprehension after taking speed reading courses, neither are those teaching them frauds. Speed reading is about giving you the personal ability to finish works faster and with confidence.
It is good to be skeptical about speed reading. The Skeptoid Podcast has a quite balanced look at outrageous claims and a genuine understanding of how reading works.
Skimming suggests that you are lowering your comprehension of the text, or skipping over parts of the text without recognizing them. This isn’t the case with speed reading.
That said, don’t turn your nose up at skimming, either. There is research that has shown if you skim a text before reading it properly, you increase your ability to comprehend it. Ten minutes of skimming a chapter of your textbook before you study it may actually help!
Speed reading does not help memorization. You will not remember more of the book by speed reading, nor will you understand it more than if you read slowly. All speed reading does is let you finish a text faster without missing out on information.
That said, several courses we have recommended, including our number one choice, include lessons on how to better memorize information.
Yes and no. While you can find improvements in only a week, it can take months of practice to reach your full potential as a speed reader. A short course will get you started, but you need to keep at it.
The 2021 Guide to Speed Reading
“Speed reading” sounds a little bit like “magic”. Is there some secret way you can read books that make it faster, and somehow you are magically more intelligent?
The answer is no, not really. “Speed reading” isn’t magical, and you won’t become a genius by learning to speed read. You will, however, enjoy reading more, find more time in the day to do so, and will likely end up doing better in your studies and at work.
What Is Speed Reading?
Speed Reading is simply the ability to read faster than you already do while not losing the ability to understand what you have read. The average adult can read between 200 and 300 words per minute, but with a little training and education, you can easily increase that to 450. That can be over double your previous time.
Some courses claim that you can increase your speed into the thousands, and there are those out there who believe they can read tens of thousands of words a minute (which would be like reading a book during an episode of television).
These claims, however, should be taken with a grain of salt. There is little proof that you can maintain a level of understanding about what you have read at those kinds of speeds.
A course with a more realistic goal is more likely to help you speed read, without setting you up to fail to meet expectations.
What Stops Us From Already Reading Quickly
One thing that almost all speed reading courses will agree with is this: most of us are not reaching our potential. Most of the time, speed reading isn’t about improving skill as much as helping remove the obstacles that are slowing us down.
Lack of Focus
Perhaps the biggest obstacle that slows most of us down as readers is a lack of focus. Things distract us in the background which makes us have to reread a page, we need to keep stopping to get comfortable where we are sitting, or our eyes begin to strain.
The best thing you can do to build your reading speed is to improve your reading environment. Find a comfortable place to sit for a while, that does not involve bending your head or holding a heavy book up. Make sure it has a lot of light, preferably natural, to read by. While some people like to read to music, and some silence, everyone agrees that removing distractions like background television helps immeasurably.
Most importantly, keep healthy. Have your eyesight checked, stay fit, and don’t expect yourself to be able to study well when you are sick.
Regression is when you find yourself reading over parts of the text you have already read before. This might be a whole chapter, but often it is only part of a sentence. But this time adds up. If you re-read a quarter of every sentence you read, you will end up taking 25% longer than you need to finish a book.
Regression can often occur because of a lack of focus, but it also occurs for other reasons. One common reason is the need to understand vocabulary, and re-reading to find context for words. Challenge yourself to learn new words in your field of interest before reading each day. Even one new word a day makes a difference.
Fixation is the term given to how much we actually pay attention to when we look at something. In the case of reading, most of us read one word at a time (you saw the word “time” instead of the letters “t”, “i”, “m”, and “e” as four separate things).
Sometimes you don’t need to read one word at a time, though, and speed reading courses can help you read in larger “chunks”, which speeds up the process.
Speed reading is an invaluable tool for any person to have. That is why Fortune 500 companies spend thousands of dollars every year teaching their employees, and why US Presidents have even taken such courses. Fortunately, such great courses are available to us at much lower prices.
To think, if you had taken a speed reading course before reading this article, you could have read the entire thing in only ten minutes!