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“What does it take to be an excellent student, especially in an online learning environment?" This is the question that opens the book “Remember Everything You Read" by Stanley D. Frank, based on the Evelyn Wood Speed Reading and Learning Program.
The answer, according to Dr. Frank, is high-speed assimilation and comprehension of all sorts of subject matter, and the ability to recall that subject matter later during testing. Sounds good, right?
If you’re like me, the fact that you can learn his techniques for success from a seven dollar paperback that is readily available at most local libraries sounds even better. A must read to assist online learners who have to read possibly more than a traditional student!
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The Book ItselfRating
The speed reading and study processes outlined in this book are appropriate for anyone with a solid grasp on reading and writing, fourth grade and up, but the book itself would be challenging for most people under thirteen.
Dr. Frank uses real-life examples and student stories to make a book about the nitty-gritty of speed-reading, note-taking, and studying as engaging as possible—which means it’s only a little bit of a snoozer—and happily by the end of chapter two you’ve learned the basics of speed reading, and can fly through the rest of the book fifty percent faster, with increased comprehension.
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The Speed Reading TechniquesRating
The average adult reads 250 words a minute. Dr. Frank claims that the average adult can increase their reading speed by fifty percent instantly, double that reading speed in a week, easily attain a reading speed of 900 words per minute with practice, and soar beyond that if they're really dedicated. So does it work?
Here's how it worked for me.
The first chapter of the book contains a test; readers are asked to note the time it takes them to read a certain section, then work a formula to determine their reading speed. Mine was about 350 words per minute.
The second chapter outlines the first steps to speed-reading--which basically consists of breaking bad reading habits that slow us down--and asks the reader to time themselves reading the rest of the chapter, using the new techniques. Sure enough, my reading speed was creeping toward 600 words per minute.
Later in the book Dr. Frank teaches hand motions and other techniques to increase reading speed, and by the end of the book I could read 850 words per minute if I was focused.
Incidentally, Dr. Frank claims that readers who have a hard time focusing will benefit the most from speed-reading. These people read much more slowly than they think, so of course they get bored! Increase their reading speed to match their mental processing speed, and even hard-core ADHD readers will hone in on the text.
I figured that 850 words per minute was good enough for me, and didn't put in the time to go further. I didn't increase my comprehension of the text, but I didn't lose any either.
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The Study TechniquesRating
The study techniques were excellent, but nothing that could not be learned elsewhere. His most useful suggestions included skimming a book before actually reading it, using absurd mental imagery to burn facts into your brain, and eschewing traditional note-taking in favor of mind-mapping, or “recall patterns," as he calls them.
The study techniques themselves would be worth the meager cost of the book, and combined with the speed reading component, make this book a preposterously good value. “Remember Everything You Read" is simply a must-read for students and educators everywhere.