Despite the fact that I enjoy reading and do it quite a bit, I’ve always been a slow reader. Whenever I try to read faster, the words get all swimmy on the page and start to blend together. I’ve recently been reading a lot more, and I wanted to improve my reading speed. So, I decided to investigate speed reading programs and courses. I remembered hearing about EyeQ and figured it would be a good place to start.
The most current version of EyeQ is subscription-based software available through their website. That means there is nothing to download and install, but it also means you never really own the program. The cost is $12/month or $99/annually. I only subscribed for one month.
The program uses a combination of eye-strengthening exercises and “Two-Point Training” exercises. The eye-strengthening exercises involve various things flashing on the screen that you are supposed to follow or identify–it can be words, letters, numbers, objects, etc. You’re also asked to watch expanding shapes to improve peripheral vision. The Two-Point Training focuses on teaching to to scan lines smoothly to reduce your eyes’ tendency to jump back and forth.
The exercises take about seven minutes to complete and you are only allowed to do them once a day, to prevent eye fatigue. You do timed reading tests both before and after the exercises to show your reading speed progress.
I’ve been doing this for a little over a week and have completed nine training exercises. When I started my average reading speed was 219 WPM. As of today, my average reading speed is 318 WPM. So I have increased my reading speed around 100 WPM in that time. I can tell that this is a real result and not just some number flubbing. I’m definitely getting through books faster, and I am even finding I can focus on them more.
The program isn’t without its flaws, though. When you are doing the exercises you go through eight different ones. The program does not track your progress through them, so if you have a connection problem you cannot pick up where you left off, you have to start over from the beginning. The reading texts they use for the speed tests are served up randomly from a limited selection. I don’t know how many different selections they have, but I do know that in only 9 days I have already had one repeat text. My reading speed on that one the second time was 391 WPM, but that is obviously influenced by the fact that I saw it before. Since you are supposed to do this every day, they either need more excerpts or they need to make sure you don’t see the same one twice.
The original version of the EyeQ software was the regular install-from-disk non-subscription type. I’m not sure how much has changed between that original version and this online version. I do know that you can still buy new, boxed versions of the original software from Amazon.com for as little as $20. When my one-month subscription runs out, I might buy the old software rather than renew the subscription. If the old software is as good, it would save me a lot of money.
I’ve only completed one week of the program, so I will continue to update on my progress as I go.