The wonderful benefit of speed reading is that it simply offers brevity in world where we all seem to get busier by the day. As you search for the best programs and classes however, it’s important to know that not all programs are created equal and that each can offer unique benefits for specific goals. Arguably the most recognizable names in the industry are Iris Reading and Rev IT Up, but there’s definitely other great options to choose from. We’ve reviewed the “who’s who” of the industry to provide you with an inside peak into their offerings. So whether your speed reading interest is for leisure, work, or school, you’ve come to the right place to get started!
1. Iris Reading
Overview: Iris Reading is one of the best and perhaps the most popular speed reading course providers in the industry. Iris has a comprehensive list of courses that have been endorsed by big names such as Disney, Google, CNN. Iris Reading offers a convenient combination of both online and in-person courses for adults along with free speed reading courses at several colleges and universities across the globe. (Click here to find available free courses in your city.)
Pricing: $75 and up (Online)/$119 and up (In-person)
Course Formats: Online training (self-paced), and In-Person (3 and 6-hour courses)
Iris currently offers a total of nine courses (with test prep courses in the works) which cover everything from Speed Reading, Memory, & Comprehension to Mind Mapping, Focus and Productivity. Below is a list of their current courses and outlines:
- Speed Reading Foundation:
- Perform speed reading drills to increase reading speed by 2-4xs
- Learn how to increase reading comprehension
- Learn how to approach reading difficult or technical material
- Learn how to read faster for digital screens
- Includes 121-page Focus Improvement e-book
- Ideal for students, professionals, and leisure readers
- Speed Reading and Memory Course:
- Learn advanced speed reading techniques and how to utilize mnemonic devices
- Learn How to memorize vocabulary in foreign languages and technical material
- Learn Speeding Reading strategies for test taking (ACT, SAT, MCAT, GRE, LSAT,GMAT)
- Learn How to Remember a Presentation without using notes
- Learn How to remember more of what you read, including long lists of information
- Speed Reading Mastery Course:
- Learn How to read and remember visually
- Learn How to read groups of words (also known as “Chunking”)
- Learn proven Eye Training exercising techniques
- Learn Spaced Learning Exercises to increase reading retention rates
- Learn How to reduce Sub-vocalization (Saying words in your head)
- Memory Improvement Course:
- How to improve your memory daily
- How to re-visualize numbers to remember any type of list
- How to use your senses to improve your memory (19 techniques explained)
- Learn the Link System (also known as the “Chain method”) to remember lists of materials
- Learn the Substitute Word System and Peg System to improve memory
- Productivity Course Levels 1 & 2:
- Learn proven ways to boosts your productivity
- Learn Strategies to avoid procrastination
- Learn effective time management techniques
- Learn how to avoid “Information Addiction” in order to increase efficiency
- Learn ways to stay motivated and productive after long work days
- Learn how to avoid the most common “To Do” lists mistakes
- and more!
- Comprehension Course:
- Learn how to maintain comprehension at high reading speeds
- Learn how the 80/20 Rule improves comprehension
- Learn how to read textbooks and technical material and remember more of it
- Learn how and when to take notes
- Learn 15 ways to comprehend dry or dull reading material
- Mind Mapping Course:
- Learn how to visually organize information (known as Mind Mapping) to read faster
- Learn to create computer mind maps to increase efficiency
- Learn to create mind maps for study, meetings, creating tasks lists, article reading and more
- Learn ways mind mapping can with problem solving and decision-making
- Learn how to use mind mapping for creative purposes
- Speed Reading Course for Digital Readers Highlights:
- Learn to Read Informational materials faster
- How to Organize and manage your online reading materials
- How to read fiction faster
- How to read with better focus
- How to read your emails faster
- Focus Course:
- Learn how to create a tasks list to improve focus
- Learn to stay focused when reading or performing computer-involved tasks
- Learn ways to simply your daily routine with focus techniques
- Learn how to maintain focus when reading dry or dull reading material
- Learn how to manage staff and co-worker interruptions
Pros: Extensive courses, guided training for in-person classes, online courses can be downloaded viewed online, trusted brand
Cons: Not all age-inclusive, pricey, some courses are repetitive, no money back guarantee
Overview: Iris Reading also offers AceReader which is a software-based program that’s suitable for children as well (K-college/adult). AceReader differentiates itself as more of a training tool than Iris’ other speed reading programs, and it also includes tools and resources designed specifically for individuals with disabilities and unique challenges. This online program comes in two packages, Elite and Premium with the latter costing about $50 extra and including additional features and resources. However, we feel that the Elite package offers more than enough to get your money’s worth.
Price: $69.95 and up
Format: Online program (Windows/Mac)
AceReader program helps assist with the following:
- Eye Fixation Time Reduction
- Eye Fixation Zone Expansion
- Increasing Re-Fixation Speed
Some of the Reader Elite Features include:
- Multi-User licenses;up to 3 Computers with Unlimited Users per Computer
- 100+ drill, exercises , games
- 625 ebooks and a library full of video tutorials , and text-to-speech capabilities For Early Reading Fluency or Multi-Sensory (Vision & Auditory) Learning.
- All age inclusive (includes Grades 1-College/Adult Levels)
- Rapid Serial Visual and Tachistoscopic Scroll Presentation to help you learn to take in multiple words at one time.
- Ability to Monitor Progress Graphically
- 830 Leveled and Themed Reading Comprehension Tests (American History, Science, Famous People, SAT/ACT Prep, etc.)
- Hundreds of Leveled Fun Eye Pacing Drills to Pace You at Smart Speeds Relative to Both Your Current Base Reading Speed and Goal Speeds.
- 3 Modes of Operation to Allow Different Levels of Control
- Daily Status Indicator to Help You Determine How Much To Do Each Day
- Easy Product Support (Email and Toll Free Line available)
Pros: All age-inclusive, Special Uses feature, comprehensive list of features and exercise drills, Windows/Mac compatible, free 30-day trial available
Cons: No instructor-led versions for children, premium version is a bit pricey
Company Overview: The Rev It Up Reading speed reading program was handcrafted by renown author of ‘The Complete Idiots Guide to Speed Reading’ and Speed Reading Expert Abby Marks Beale. Its impressive lists of clients include The US Dept of Education, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, and Iron Mountain. The program and workshops are ideal for adult students, business professionals, and leisure readers and the online program even comes with a free 1-Day Pass that allows you to test the waters before purchasing the program. Rev It Up also offers Group and Site Licenses to schools and colleges/universities which includes training for program admins and a year of unlimited use.
Course Formats: Online training (In-person workshops also available click here for details)
Prices: 1-day pass (Free); 7-Day Pass ($49); 90-day License ($149-$199)
The course features nine, 35-40 minute modules and includes 17 timed reading exercises along with a self-evaluation of habits assessment. A downloadable copy of Abby’s 10 days to Faster Reading is also included with the purchase of the course as well as direct access to Abby via email for support. Abby also sends follow-up emails once the course is over to provide quick refreshers on what you’ve learned.
Each module focuses on a different aspect of speed reading and includes:
- Introduction To Speed Reading
- Working With Your Eyes and Brain
- Reducing the Talking (also known as “Sub-vocalization”)
- Expanding Your Peripheral Vision
- Securing Comprehension
- Using Your Reading Stick Shift
- Organizing Your Reading
- Finding Information Quickly
- Keeping Your Keepers (module covers effective note-taking, highlighting, and filing using the Latch System)
The Rev It Up program can be used for different speed reading focuses and offers the following benefits for each:
Speed Reading for Professionals:
- Raise productivity levels with work-related reading and stay current with up-to-date reading habits.
- Increase reading speed and improving concentration,comprehension and retention.
- Shared are tips, tools and strategies for immediate use to help manage large piles of both paper and digital reading materials.
Speed Reading for Students
- Read more course materials in a smaller amount of time.
- Increase reading comprehension while avoiding re-reading.
- Raise concentration levels and learn ways to secure a better study environment.
- Find important information quickly within reading materials.
- Take good notes on and from reading material for easier study.
- Time-manage reading workloads.
Speed Reading for Leisure
- Discover ways to prioritize reading based on your personal value and to sift through large amounts of information (both fiction and non-fiction).
- Learn effective speed reading strategies to become a more versatile reader, and capable of shifting your reading speed according to your purpose.
- Helps avid readers to become confident speed readers and expand their knowledge base in personal and professional life.
Pros: Mac/PC compatible, Guided training, Free Day Pass, Money back guarantee (full course only), group licenses available, $50 coupon for mailing list sign up, demo available
Cons: Not all age-inclusive, short online course lengths compared to other programs, full course is pricey
Overview: If you’ve ever had to get a certification for work you may already be familiar with this company. ExpertRating Solutions is an international , ISO certified organization that has over 13 years experience in e-learning and pre-employment testing fields and also boasts big name clients including the US Department of Defense, Fox News, Iserv, and IKEA Systems. ExpertRating offers hundreds of self-based and instructor led courses within virtually every vertical, and they’ve become a “go-to” source for businesses both small and large to increase skill sets within their workforce. This speed reading and certification course is ideal for those looking for an online, paced speed reading program without direction instruction.
Pricing: $129.99 (includes course and exam fee)
Course is 6 weeks, two courses are released per week and students have 24/7 access to available lessons.
During this program students are introduced to the “nitty gritty” of Speed Reading, and course outlines include the following:
- Importance of Speed Reading to Business Professionals
- History of Speed Reading
- Speed Reading Terminology 101
- An Introduction to the Reading Process
- A Guide to the Visual System
- Minimizing Distractions
- Eye Training & Pacing, Peripheral Development
- Vision Span Explained (along with exercises)
- Fixations, Backwards Reading, Previewing
- Passive Reading and Summarizing Text
- Analyzing the Structure of Reading Material
- Ensuring Comprehension and Finding the Author’s Message
Lessons 8- 12:
- Progression & Regression
- Vocal Interference (reading words aloud), Skimming, and Chunking
- Beneficial Reading Habits
- Word Recognition and Vocabulary Skills
- Learning How to Consider Context
- Improving Speed and Comprehension and Corresponding Tests
Pros: Trusted name (ISO certified company), course length great for price, extensive course materials, 24/7 access to course
Cons: Program only compatible with Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers, no demo available, no in-person course options, no money-back guarantee, not all age-inclusive
Overview: FastReaders is a relatively new company within the speed reading landscape that focuses on developing speed reading programs solely for online usage. The membership-based program, which is backed by a money-back guarantee, offers a much less expensive option for those looking for speed reading courses. Offerings cater towards most ages groups (7 and up) and are coupled with an online community of readers all over the world with whom you can connect with and share book lists.
Course Format: Online courseware (self-paced)
Pricing: Offers 3 membership plans (Basic, Plus, Pro) starting at $14.95 for Basic plan
Duration: Plans are 3-months and 6-months
Features (Basic Plan):
- Includes Eye Coordination, Peripheral Vision, Skimming exercises
- Learn how to focus on one word at a time and read groups of words (also known as “Chunking”)
- Reading exercise and corresponding exams will increase in difficulty provide training on efficient reading, following shapes, processing numbers, and associating words with images.
- Exportable Progress Charts to continuously access your improvement in speed and comprehension
- Access to Digital Library which includes hundreds of fiction and non-fiction classics for practice
- RSS news feed integration for reading further practice in an easy to read format
- Fun maze and number games to improve eye coordination and mental process time
- Customizable and trackable exams that allow you to input your own text and benchmark your scores against others
(Features Available with Plus and Pro plans)
- Desktop application (Windows only) which assist in increasing reading speed by word flash exercises
- Upload Documents feature to upload all of your reading materials for practice
- Vocabulary builder helps to expand vocabulary with word lists (Lists include: Kids, Common Words, SAT Exam)
- Portable Program offer a convenient tool for those on the go and are compatible with Apple Ipod players, Sony PSP, and Microsoft’s Zune
Pros: Affordable, No contract, all age-inclusive, Windows/Mac supported, and Linux systems, Money Back Guarantee
Cons: In-person courses not available, Product support is email only.
So there you have it folks, our list of the some of the best speed reading courses we’ve come across so far, we’ll continue to keep you updated!!!