Free Reading Speed Test - How fast can you read? (2024)

Each test only takes a minute or two. Accurately measure your English reading speed (words per minute, WPM) and comprehension level with the largest free database of reading passages.

Reading is one of the best ways to consume information and learn (at least until mind reading becomes reality). Bill Gates reads 50 books a year, at about 750 WPM (words per minute) with 90% comprehension, and attributes much of his success to reading.

Reading well means being able to read as fast or as slow as you need to, while maintaining good comprehension of what you read. This is the essence of what "speed reading" helps you do, and what tools like SwiftRead help you with.

Before you start to practice to read as well as Bill Gates does, you need to measure how well you can currently read. That which can be measured, can be improved.

Take the quick and free test below to measure your reading speed and comprehension level. Note that the tests are in English.

Why are some people better at reading than others?

Some people just seem to be able to read more easily, at least when it comes to reading the "normal" way. How we humans normally read text is that we move our eyes across the words, side-to-side and up-to-down on a page. Several factors determine how well someone can read like this. These factors include: your fluency with the language that the text is written in, reading habits you picked up from childhood and/or schooling, and even how your brain is wired to process different kinds of information.

While some of these factors reflect aspects that you could not have controlled, luckily, reading is still a skill that anyone can get better at. For example, you can choose to read more and increase your fluency with the language you're reading. You can also choose to use a variety of tools and techniques that augment your reading capabilities and help you read more effectively.

Can you actually measure reading speed?

Reading speed can be measured. But the idea of a "reading speed" isn't as straightforward as you might think.

Reading speed is often measured in "words per minute", or WPM. This is the number of words read in a minute, similar to how "miles/kilometers per hour" is the number of miles/kilometers traveled in an hour.

But, similar to how you drive a car, different situations call for different speeds. For example, when you read something dense and complex, you'll probably choose to read more slowly so that you can better understand and internalize what's being described. When you read something light, about a topic you're already familiar with, you might choose to read it faster so that you can extract the information you need from it efficiently.

You can use tools like the one on this page to get a sense of what your typical reading speed is. But of course, like when you drive, your reading speed will fluctuate as you read different things. Your average reading speed can even improve with practice or the use of reading tools and techniques.

What is a good reading speed?

Being able to measure reading speed begs the question: "What is considered a 'good' reading speed?"

To give you some benchmarks, a typical adult's average reading speed, reading a language that they're already fluent in, is about 250 WPM. Some adults who are voracious readers and who adopt efficient reading habits can typically read at speed of 400 WPM or more. Different reading tools and techniques help you adjust the mechanics of how you read, so that you can read more efficiently.

But being too focused on reading speed is a trap. There's no point trying to read at a certain speed if you can't comprehend what you're reading at the level that you want. Reading is a complex process that involves a multitude of visual, auditory, and other brain networks. So on one hand, we can improve the process and skill of reading to be more efficient. On the other hand, we're all wired a little differently, so, you have to experiment with different ways of reading to find what works best for you!

How can I increase my reading speed, while comprehending and retaining what I read?

Reading is a skill. And you can improve any skill. I'd argue that reading is one of the most important skills in life. Because if you can read, you can be transported into other worlds and learn almost anything you want, whenever you want, as long as you have access to books or the Internet.

The skill of reading is a complex process, but there are "mechanical" parts of the reading process that can be improved and "tuned" like a machine to be more efficient. When you have efficient reading mechanics, you can parse through text faster. The mechanical parts of reading can be made to feel almost effortless. Then, you leave more mental energy for the comprehension and retention of what you're reading. With more efficient reading mechanics, you can focus more on the information that is being transmitted through those little dark markings on a page we call words.

Some reading techniques require a lot of time and practice to master. There are also software tools out there, like SwiftRead, that instantly give you more efficient reading, now.

Do you have any questions or comments about reading? Let us know at! We're on a mission to help people read better and we'd love to hear from you.

Free Reading Speed Test - How fast can you read? (2024)
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