Tips for reading faster on a screen

October 5, 2016

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When you take online courses, you will most likely spend a lot of your time reading content from your screen. Whether you’re pursuing education courses, business courses or going another route in your online education, you’re going to need to take in a variety of important concepts along the way. 

Ever wish you could breeze through material quicker? Here are a few tips to try out that can help you read faster from a screen.

Get to the point

Using more than your eyes can help increase the rate at which you read your online course material. In their natural state, your eyes are making tiny darting motions that you might not notice. Using something as a pointer that can help keep your eyes trained in the correct location might be just the thing you need to up your reading speed. You can use just about anything as a pointer, but perhaps the easiest and safest option is your finger. Sharp instruments can damage your screen, whereas the only damage your finger is likely to do is smudge the glass a little bit.

Split it up

Wide stretches of text, such as the ones found in a standard word document, can be harder to read than smaller chunks. To help with this, see if you can split up text into two narrow columns instead. If documents are PDFs, don’t be afraid to copy and paste the information into another document and modify it there.

Fix the formatting

In addition to splitting up the text, there are a few other formatting changes you can make that can help increase your reading speed on your screen. If possible, change the font of the text you’re reading to one without serifs (those little extra lines at the ends of letters). Arial is a great example of one such font. Also, get the most out of your screen size in order to lessen the time-wasting impact of scrolling. If you’re using a tablet, turn it vertically so you get more text on your screen at one time. If using a computer, take advantage of a full-screen view to for the same reason.

Keep the light right

Reading in dark conditions can also be bad for efficiency, with the contrast between your bright screen and a dark room making your eyes tired. Try to read in a room with ample light so you don’t put unnecessary strain on your vision.

Increasing your reading speed can boost productivity and help you take advantage of the time you have to study online. This can help you not only improve your chances of getting through your courses, but also provide an opportunity to improve your work-life balance. Try these tips next time you’re working toward completing a course with BCA National, one of Australia’s most trusted RTOs.