In the past 25 years, I’ve worked with thousands of individuals who, previous to meeting me, had no idea what their true reading speed was. But they all had their self-made perceptions. Most consider their reading speed to be slow with only a few believing it is fast. However, if you can get a true gauge on your reading speed and compare yours with others, you may find you are better and faster than you think!

So, let me help you figure your reading speed. Find something to read, either on paper or on-screen that has a fixed line length all the way down the page (meaning all the lines are the same width such as a printer-friendly webpage or magazine article). Then use the following formula:

  1. Figure your average words per line: Choose ANY 10 lines of text and count the number of words in each line. Add up the words and then divide it by 10. If your total is 79 words, then the average words per line is 7.9 or round higher to 8. If your total is 93 words, then the average words per line is 9.3, or round lower to 9.
  2. Time yourself reading for exactly one minute. (Try Online Stop Watch to help time you.)
  3. Count the number of lines you have read and then multiply them by the figured average words per line. For example if you read 30 lines in 1 minute and the average words per line is 9, (30 X 9 = 270) your reading speed is 270 words per minute.

Compare your results with these numbers of those who never had any reading training:

100-200 words per minute = Slow Reader
200-300 words per minute = Average Reader
300-400 words per minute = Above Average Reader

Are you faster or slower than you thought? No matter your result, if you have never taken a speed reading course (or read a book about it), you can benefit from learning how to maximize your reading abilities.

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