Pulse Phase

Exclusive Tips to Boost Your Reading Speed During UPSC Preparation

You must be preparing for the UPSC exam. So, you are reading this blog post. Great! Are you worried after seeing so many books and study materials?

IAS aspirants should read so many books to gain knowledge about the full syllabus. Absolutely true! The UPSC syllabus is vast and complex in nature.

Just leave all your worries about managing the reading speed. I would help you with the related information in the below paragraphs.

Speed reading is a learnable skill. Even you can do it. As a result, you will learn how to read a number of words in less time. There is a specific technique to do it.

On average, you can read 250 words in a minute. When you have the speed reading skills in hand, you can read 500 words in a minute. So, just imagine how much time you can save!

Causes of Slow Reading

Do you know why candidates tend to read slow? It depends on various factors. So, let’s have a look at these reasons. Later, will give you the tips to overcome them.

  • In the initial ages, you used to read each and every word loudly. Am I right? As age passes, you have learned to read silently in mind. When you do so, you can hear the inner voice while reading.

This particular voice is called as sub-vocalization. You can also refer to as internal speech. During such time, there would be small larynx and other muscle movements.

However, these movements are not detectable. But, plays an important role while reading. If you minimize such muscular movement, the reading speed increases. Keep in mind that it is not possible to completely avoid it.

  • Please avoid reading word by word. It slows down your reading speed. Group the block of words and read. Practice this method. You should try putting more words in one block.

Professionally, it is called as reading by chunking. When you are capable of integrating more words in a single block. It means you know how to read faster.

  • Concentration is again a very important factor. It can directly affect your reading speed. Please focus on what you are reading. Do not do multi-tasking. It is highly not recommended.

Carefully understand the concept well in the first time reading itself. The higher concentration level is of great importance to read and comprehend faster.

  • Monitoring eye movement is also important. Do not keep your eyeballs very close to the book. It surely slows down your reading speed.

Why does this happen? Because you will see less number of words in close proximity When you hold the book at a certain distance, the number of words you see is more.

Just to mention, do not keep the book too far from your eyeballs. It becomes very difficult to read. The right distance helps you to increase the peripheral vision too.

  • Do you intend to go back to a certain page or paragraph after completing once? It is not a wise thing to do. Going back is termed as regression.

IAS candidates generally do this in order to confirm whether they have understood what they read previously. You have a fear of forgetting the concepts.

This habit of yours decreases the reading speed on a large scale. You can overcome this problem only by improving concentration power.

Tips to Increase Your Reading Speed – Overcome Your Problems


Skimming is really a well-known process that helps to increase the reading speed. You might need to read a lengthy text. There is no need to read every single word to understand the concept.

Few concepts need quick reading. Some other concepts demand detailed reading. Give attention to the bold headings. Keep a check on any of the highlighted text.

In this way, you can move on reading the entire text at a quick pace. Also, remember the important points. You should know when to skip the content and when to read it carefully.

This skill is very much necessary to do well in the comprehension of English paper. While practicing, keep this important tip in mind.

Bypass Sub-Vocalization:

You have already understood that silent reading leads to a lower speed. Consistently practice with higher concentration level. You can definitely do it.

Make Use Of Pointers:

The pointer can be in the form of a pen, pencil, or even your finger. Use it while reading. Move it along the text line when you read. Make sure you do not stop in between. Keep a time limit and practice.

Plan for the Right Time:

The difficulty level of each topic differs from one other. You will need a fresh mind and more time to read tougher concepts. On the other hand, take up easy subjects when you are tired or not so fresh.

If you pick up a difficult topic with a tired mindset, then it is not going to solve your purpose. As a result, it slows down the speed of reading. Plan well before you lose precious time.

Must Have Good Study Environment:

Make sure you sit in a quiet place while studying. Avoid the interference of music and any kind of noise. Ultimately, you should be able to study peacefully.

When you take care of a peaceful environment, you tend to read faster. Also, you can avoid the process of re-reading.

Develop A Mind Map:

Just before you start reading any new chapter, take time to scan the whole thing. Understand what the whole chapter is trying to explain to you.

When you have a perfect picture of the chapter, it becomes easy to read with a high focus. Look at all the sub-headings. So that you will get a complete idea about the chapter.

Learn When To Skip:

Sometimes, you will have to skip the unnecessary passages. Those topics are not required as per the UPSC exam syllabus. So, why do you want to waste time by simply reading it?

Always remember! Your goal is not to finish the full book. Instead, try focusing on the topics required for the exam. This should save much of your time.

Practice Interactive Reading:

Reading for IAS exam is not a one-way procedure. You need to be interactive throughout the study period. Take down questions whenever you get some doubts. Otherwise, highlight the important points.

It improves your interest. Again when you revise, look at these highlights. Don’t you think it as an easy way of revision? Go ahead and follow this tip sincerely.

Improve Your Vocabulary:

Without a good hold of vocabulary, it is very difficult to read fast. More books you read, more words get into your brain. It improves the speed of reading as well as understanding.

In case you do not understand any specific words, look into the dictionary. Learn a new set of vocabulary and improve the reading speed without fail.

Believe In Your Brain:

Trusting your brain is the first most important thing to do. If you want to improve the reading speed, then please do it now! When you do it sincerely, it helps you to break the old reading habits.

Also, you can easily adopt new reading techniques. What do you think? Every time you read new things, your brain is beside you. It helps you to understand all the information you read.

If you still forget a few things, it is because of fear or nervousness. Be peaceful and trust your mind. It helps you to recall whatever you read till now. Also, supports you to read faster in the future.

Useful Read: Check out the list of Top 10 IAS Coaching in Delhi


Generally, the IAS candidate read silently. Here, the tendency to talk to your own self is more. When you do this, it controls the reading speed.

I suggest you avoid such a habit. The speed tends to decrease when you focus on every word you read. So, stop your mind from uttering those words internally.

This strategy has proved to be working. You just have to implement properly. The above tips should be sufficient to help you increase the reading speed.

All you need is a good memory to clear UPSC exam with a good score. It is possible only if you own good reading speed. Above all, keep the hold on common sense and IQ level along with reading.