What is the average reading speed and the best reading speed?

The average reading speed for a child in primary school is about 200 words per minute (wpm). When we reach adulthood, it has not improved much, as most adults on average read at a speed of about 200 – 250 wpm. Although comprehension at this rate is considered reasonable, at 250 wpm it will be difficult to read large amounts of information in a short time.

Some individuals claim that they read at speeds of 10,000 wpm or even 25,000 wpm and say that they can still understand everything they have read. Although speeds such as this can be achieved by these exceptional individuals, a speed of 1000 – 1200 wpm is the speed at which the competitors read at the world championships fast-reading competitions. Therefore, if your average reading speed comes somewhere near this speed, you can consider that you are doing fantastically well. Do not feel that you need to reach championship levels to reach your learning and reading goals. It is up to everyone to decide how far the speed limits should be postponed!

For a person who is interested in increasing their abilities, a target of 500 – 800 wpm is an excellent target. At this rate, it is possible to complete large amounts of work in a short time and maintain a level of understanding of about 75% or more. This is an excellent level of understanding and probably more than sufficient for any of your desired purposes. Compare this with the average reading frequency for adults (200 – 250 wpm), where their level of comprehension is only half or slightly more of the material they have read.

800 – 1000 wpm would be an outstanding performance. To have reached this level, an individual may have invested in an excellent speed reading course and practiced speed exercises. Believe it or not, the understanding at this level is also outstanding and reaches levels of 100% or very close to 100%.

Results of 100 – 200 wpm are considered to be a basic reading speed. In adult terms, this is a speed below average, but for children between 6 and 12 years it can be considered average. Only low levels of understanding are achieved at this rate. An adult reading at this rate will be amazed at what some of the simple techniques will do for his reading speed. Reading at any rate below 100 wpm will probably be read by someone who is still learning to read or perhaps by someone reading in a second or third language. At this rate, it becomes difficult to understand.

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