Excellence with G.O.P.T.A.© Series: Part 82 (Learn New Skills)

By: Dr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Sr. Associate Editor, ICN Group

(In the last article, we knew how to build your General Knowledge, General Awareness and General Aptitude. Today we will see that how to learn some new skills.)  


NOIDA: In my workshops for students, I always tell them to improve their fast reading skills, fast typing skills, mind mapping skills and to learn computer commands to save time. These skills are useful not only for students but these are useful for all, as these days, almost everybody has to read a lot of material, type lot of things on computer and take notes of important things. 


Reading is a lifelong activity for all of us. Imagine what would happen if your reading speed is increased by 25% or 50% or even 100% than your current speed. You will read more material in lesser time. 

We all know that when we read, our eyes do not move in a linear method. It moves from word to word. The place where your eye stops for a fraction of a second is called ‘fixation point’. The movement of eye over different fixation points is so fast that you think that you are reading smoothly, while the fact is otherwise. The impression of one word is created in your eye and your eye keeps on quickly jumping from one word to another.

If you want to increase your reading speed, you should learn & practice the smooth reading across the words & lines. This is a topic which requires a whole book, therefore, I am going to touch only important points here. However, before learning this new method, I strongly recommend to first check your current reading speed per minute by reading any book for the next 2 or 3 minutes. When you get your current per minute reading speed, you should move on to learn the basics about speed reading. Following this methodology, the participants in my workshop report even 100% increase in their reading speed in just one hour.

Steps in speed reading

  • Select a pointer. It may be your finger or a pen. Point this pointer upon the text you are reading. Your mind will tempt you to gaze at the words and grasp the meaning of the words. To avoid this temptation at initial stage, try this exercise with keeping the book upside down. Remember, you are using this pointer just for smoothness in reading so that your eyes don’t need to jump from word to word.
  • Try to increase the speed of moving your finger without losing sight of words, even when the book is upside down. Remember, the purpose of this exercise is to train your brain for aligning movement of eyes with the movement of pointer.  
  • Gradually, try to cover more than one word at a time.
  • Now leave one or two words at the end of the sentence and one or two words at the beginning of next sentence and notice whether you still get hold of all the words. You will be surprised to notice that you are not skipping the words due to your peripheral vision. 
  • Now bring the book at the normal reading position and try to read as fast as possible without worrying about grasping, as we are just practising the speed with the aid of a pointer.
  • Slowly you will be able to read full line at a time, then two lines at a time and with practice, even 3 lines at a time.   

You may think that fast reading will not allow you to understand and learn the topic. In fact, the otherwise is true. If you practice reading fast, your learning and retention power increases. I take an example here. When you learnt to drive the car, you drove at a speed of about 20-30 kms./hr. and it was difficult for you to think that you can drive the car at a speed of 60, 80 or even 100. But with practice, now your normal speed is around 60-70. Now imagine what happens when on an empty road, you drive @ 100 kms./hr and then slow down your speed to 80. Even if your normal speed is 60, you will feel complete control @ 80. Same is with speed reading. Suppose, by now your speed is 250 wpm and you practice reading @ 500 or more wpm, you will be in a position to clearly understand the topic @ 400. With only10 minutes’ practice over a period of one month may double or triple your reading speed and after that you can enjoy the better comprehension. 

I would suggest that first you start this practice while reading newspaper editorials, where less comprehension is required. In the next phase, you can try novels or story books. After practice, you can try with your study material also. Even at initial stages, it will save time in unimportant readings like newspapers etc, which you don’t need to comprehend or remember.

(In the next 2 articles, I will discuss about some more useful skills to be inculcated by all, specially students and after that, we will turn to the hottest topic of this century – Time Management. I believe that you are enjoying the journey towards the future of your dreams with me. If yes, please stay tuned. Happy G.O.P.T.A.)

Dr. Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, Creator & copyright holder of the concept G.O.P.T.A.©  is an Author, Certified NLP Lifestyle Trainer, Strategic Interventionist, Corporate Trainer & Motivational Speaker ( http://bit.ly/Signature-Workshops-Sanjay-Kumar-Agarwal ) and recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Excellence (Management) by prestigious Young Scientist University, California, USA. He is Founder of ‘Read, Learn & Earn Movement’ and is popularly known among his fans & followers across the globe as ‘Time and Goal Guru’.

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