Reading speed for GED: How to improve it.

How to improve your GED reading speed
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How can I improve my reading speed for the GED test?

I get asked this at least five times a week by my GED students.

Many of whom feel disillusioned by the test.

‘How can I get through all the passages in the time? It’s impossible.’

The GED RLA test, for example, has passages 450 – 900 words long. 

So, to read this many words closely is extremely difficult and takes practice.

Practice is the important ingredient here.

This is the single most important factor in raising your GED score.

Slow readers don’t score well.


It’s impossible to score well on the GED if you read slowly.

Slow readers will struggle to finish the GED test in time.

Slow readers know they read slowly.

Consequently, slow readers get anxious before and during their GED test and under-perform.

So how can slow readers improve?

The answer is simple. 

Slow readers need to practice reading quicker.

Find out more about speed reading here.

This is a skill that needs built up over time.

Read here about why some people read slowly.

Reading faster can’t happen overnight.

This is tough, but here are proven techniques that can can increase your reading speed:

GED reading speed techniques

  1. Chunking Technique

Fast readers read groups of words together.

They don’t read words individually.

If you want to improve your reading speed, it’s essential you practice this skill.

Try reading three words at the same time as your eyes make their way down the page.

Notice how you progress down the lines more quickly and still understand the meaning.

This is the most efficient tool you can practice to increase your reading speed.

Practicing this may sound daunting, but it’s not.

Incorporate the following technique into your daily reading practice and you’ll boost your GED reading speed fast.

How to practice chunking technique

With a pencil draw two parallel, vertical lines down your page. This separates your text into three separate sections.

Now concentrate on reading each section with a glance; don’t read individual words.

Also, cover the text below with a blank piece of paper, so your eyes don’t wander from the task.

As you finish reading each line, move the paper downwards.

Notice how much quicker you read one page.

Practice this three times per day: morning, lunchtime and night.

   2. Timed speed reading practice

Once you have practiced the chunking technique, take things one step further.

Set your timer and practice in one minute blocks, using chunking technique.

Once you notice your speed and confidence increasing, try two minutes and so on.

These gradual increases in time will increase your concentration and speed.

You can also try a reading speed timer such as Freereadingtest by AceTimer.

It’s a wonderful tool to incorporate into your daily GED reading practice.

Remember increasing your reading speed for GED is part of a longer process.

Don’t expect results overnight!

But if you stick with it, you will see rapid results.

   3. Set goals and read More

If you set yourself achievable goals, you’re more likely to achieve them.

‘The problem with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.’ (Bill Copeland)

This is so true.

How many times in your GED practice have you felt overwhelmed?

How many time have you felt like your studying all the time but not improving?

Most of my GED students over the past fifteen plus years have told me a similar story.

Don’t fall into the trap.

Write down your goals on paper and stick to them.

I find writing them out and pinning them above my work desk helps me stay focused.

But… whatever works for you is fine.

  4. Practice comprehension on the first read

Slow readers spend large amounts of time re-reading.

This can be down to a number of factors such as lack of vocabulary etc. but often is is because of a lack of focus.

Train yourself to zero in on the passage and eliminate re-reading as much as possible.

Final thoughts

Practice all four techniques above and rapidly improve your reading speed for the GED exam.

I also recommend you have a look at my other articles about the GED test.

They contain tips to help you pass the GED test:

GED test preparation posts

Also, join the Phuket PALS’ Facebook community and see lots of free videos that will help you out.

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