Typical person is able to read between two and four hundreds words per minute. You may think that 400 is really a lot but there is nothing more far away from true. You can practice your speed reading skill with tachistoscopic training.
Tachistoscope was used by R.A.F (Royal Air Forces) to show images of planes and gradually lower exposure time and check how fast human eye can recognise side of plane (enemy or ally). Later the same experiment was carried over to examine words recognition. The results were amazing. Today’s adaption of tachistoscope are flash-cards and so called still-screen course, but you need to watch out!
To realize how fast we can read at first and how much we can improve we need to perform some mathematical calculations. Eye is able to identify image or word in 1/500 of a second and it was proven by Royal Air Forces researches decades ago. Going further with this rule we should be able to get around 23,000 words in just one minute. Just to clarify the things recognising a word or enemy’s plane (images used in the first experiments) in such a short amount of time was achieved after longer training with tachistoscope.
What we may not necessary realize is that most tachistoscopic speed reading courses are not prepared great. After many experiments people reported that their reading speed went down shortly. In the same time most of this courses aim to go from 200 to 400 words per minute, yet this is normal range nothing outstanding. From that we can conclude that the most of courses aiming for around 500 words per minute are rather useless. What you need to understand is that this method will not make you reading extremely fast in a short amount of time.
Many scientists say that improve of speed reading while training with tachistoscope is just a matter of heightened motivation level in the time of course and this would explain a slow down few weeks after typical course is finished. It is also said that tachistoscopic speed reading methods does not improve general comprehension and due to that should be used only as a support of fast reading techniques and not the main practice.