Test your reading speed

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Click ‘start’ to start reading. Don’t speed read! Click ‘stop’ when you’re done.

Frequently asked questions

How do I measure my reading speed?

Reading speed is measured in terms of words per minute (wpm). To measure your reading speed manually, you’d have to choose a passage, time yourself for a minute and read at your normal pace. Once the minute is up, mark the spot where you’ve stopped and count the number of words you’ve read – that’s your reading speed.

Or you could do it the easy way by taking the free speed tests on this page. Choose a difficulty, press the ‘start’ button when you’re ready, read at your normal pace, then click ‘stop’. Your words per minute will automatically be calculated.

What is the average reading speed?

According to a meta-analysis of 190 studies, the average reading rate among adults in English is 238 wpm for non-fiction and 260 wpm for fiction. Most adults fall in the range of 175 to 300 wpm for non-fiction and 200 to 320 wpm for fiction.

Can I increase my reading speed?

Yes, you can!

But while it’s possible to increase your reading speed, research suggests it’s unlikely to double or triple your reading speed without sacrificing comprehension. In other words, increasing your reading speed drastically can make it harder to understand what you’re reading.

Here are a few ways you could increase your reading speed:

1. Get rid of subvocalization

You know that inner voice that sounds out each word as you read it? That’s called subvocalization, and it’s slowing you down. By subvocalizing as you read, you’re limiting your reading speed to that of your inner voice’s speech.

To get rid of – or minimize – subvocalization, try to ‘see’ the words instead of sounding them out in your head. To silence your inner voice, it helps to press the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth or listen to classical music as you read.

2. Use chunking

Chunking refers to reading several words at once, as opposed to reading each word individually. To start, try reading with two words. When you’re comfortable, progress to three words, then four words and so forth.

3. Use a pointer

Using a pointer – such as your pen or mouse cursor – can help increase your reading speed. It forces you to keep up an accelerated pace of reading, while stopping you backtracking over words you’ve already read.