Helping MBA Students Work & Live Smarter

Optimize Your Reading Speed & Comprehension

Reading speed and reading comprehension can affect MBA student performance in many ways. MBA program participants are assigned large quantities of reading materials, such as case studies, articles, and textbook chapters. Reading and comprehending these materials can be a challenge. A considerable amount of time is required to read and comprehend the material assigned. MyeEMBA provides reading speed and comprehension resources to help you optimize these aspects of your MBA program.

Speed Reading

Speed reading is a collection of reading methods that assist in increasing rates of reading while maintaining a high level of comprehension and retention. Speed reading is analyzed between measures of speed and comprehension. Speed reading recognizes that different types of reading call for different speed and comprehension rates, and that those rates may be improved with practice.

Slow readers take more time to read the material. Faster readers take less time.  Some readers comprehend the material better than others do, which may mean some readers will have to reread the material in order to gain the understanding needed to effectively discuss the content with class mates or make contributions during class periods. Learning to read faster and comprehend material better are key factors in optimizing your time and material retention during your MBA program.


Reading Comprehension


Reading comprehension is the level of understanding of writing and reading speed, which can be improved either through self-study or by participating in commercial reading programs. Since time is a limited resource, some material may not be read at all. Therefore, a slow reader with low comprehension levels can find themselves at a disadvantage, which can lead to performance issues, stress, and dissatisfaction with the program. Improving your comprehension level and the time needed to retain reading material can be a primary benefit in differentiating you from your peers and maximizing your learning experience.


Reading and Comprehension Assessment

What options are available to assess reading speed and comprehension? One option is to review the GMAT Official Score Report - Test Taker Copy. This report provides a verbal score and the percentage of the test population whose score is lower than the reported score. 

The Verbal Section of the GMAT exam measures the ability to read and comprehend written material, reason and evaluate arguments, and correct written material to conform to standard written English.  Obviously, the exam is ignoring reading speed and is covering more than reading comprehension. Even so, it can be a useful starting point. For example, if the reported verbal score is 28/43% then 43% of the test takers scored below the score of 28 or 57% scored above this score. 

Assuming the MBA class matches this distribution, then a student entering a class would have approximately 43% of the class with a verbal score below and 57% above the reported score. One interpretation of this position is more than half of the students in the class should be able to perform at a higher level just because of verbal skills. 

The question then, are the verbal skills representing this score sufficient to participate in an MBA at a level that will allow one to differentiate themselves from the top 57%?  If not, then perhaps some form of remediation is needed.


Additional Speed Reading & Comprehension Resources


Other options for assessing reading speed and comprehension include on-line resources. Several web sites provide assessment tools as well as options for improving both speed and comprehension. Two sites that provide a combination of services include ReadingSoft.Com and ExecuRead.Com.


Speed Reading & Comprehension Remediation

Once assessment is complete, then planning for remediation can start. Remediation can be accomplished with self-help publications, face-to-face courses, and online courses. However, before selecting any one approach or vendor, you should review the speed reading and comprehension resources that are available through the MBA program, or other campus organizations. MyeEMBA will continue to identify resources and add them to our Resource Reference page. Additionally, feedback will be solicited from users so information is available to make an informed decision. 

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