How Fast Do College Students Read?

When a student enters the college, it implies that he has understood the importance of education and is ready to head in a direction that can pave a path for his future. College is the place where one can select the subject as per interest and get deep knowledge, which will help him to make a fortune. College is rather a place that moulds a person’s character so that he can deal with the situations maturely. In this article we shall see How Fast Do College Students Read?

A college student is enthusiastic and keen to learn about the things that are unexplored. He is also eager to contribute and make a mark for himself into the territory unknown. For this, his reading skills play an important role. He can go through the topics, learn about them in depth by doing research and can arrive at a conclusion/solution that can benefit many. 

How Fast Do College Students Read?

Different Mindsets and Definition of a Literate Person

Talking about what has been learnt in the school, some students are enthusiastic whereas others are attending the school because they’re forced by their parents. Some students are diligent, but there are also some who are just killing the time. The learnings that have been obtained in the school helps a student to understand his direction in life. Reading is a key part of education, because if a person can read and write a language, he is considered a literate. And if a person is literate, it means he can use his education to build up his future.

Reading speedily is also an art to be learnt

Various factors affect the reading speed like:

1.Reading Habits of a person:

If a person is an avid reader, he may read more than 200 words in a minute. But if a person is a casual reader, who hasn’t been interested in this activity, he might end up reading 60 words only at the same time. 

College student’s reading pace should be at par with the speed that an avid reader has, because he is expected to have read a lot in the past. In school time it wouldn’t have been a possibility for an intelligent student that he hasn’t read enough. A college student’s life is about reading and learning, and so if he did not have the habit of reading the books earlier, still he can develop this habit. With each passing day his reading speed will surpass the previous day’s count of words.

2. Level of Understanding:

Reading is not just about skimming through the words so that one can complete the book. It is about understanding the meaning or situation that has been explained in the pages of the books. So, for reading, count of words do matter, but also the key aspect is understanding. If a person is taking time to understand the things that are written in the books, he may read nearly 150 words per minute. But if a person is understanding the topic well and is interesting, his speed might increase to 400 words per minute.

Reading topics requires focus and the ability to understand, and only then a solution can be arrived at, if needed.

3. Area of Interest:

Though college students of same batch are of similar age, their reading speed will not be the same, as it really depends on his area of interest as well. If a person is interested in a topic, he will try to completely read it early, by giving extra efforts. He will also make time from his busy schedule to read and get the topic done.

4. Concentration

Concentrating at the words helps the person to understand the topic quicker and as a result, his pace increases. Reading the same thing more than once is not proper utilization of time. Also, his thoughts play a key role; if a person is reading a book, but he is thinking about some other thing, his reading speed will be slow, as he is occupied with something more important.

5. Practice:

Reading speed really is subjective as it varies from person to person. One may be quick but the other may not be. But if a college student is diligent and is intending to read faster, then he can do so by practicing. Though he is expected to read a page in a minute or 90 seconds, it is not always possible. But reading faster is an art and it can be learnt by continuous and conscious efforts. A person should be ready to dedicate 30 minutes daily to reading something unfamiliar. The unfamiliarity of the topic can lead to building up interest and gives knowledge about something that a person wasn’t aware of.

6. Being Attentive and not consumed with other thoughts

The pace depends on how attentive a person is, because if he is really concentrating, he won’t make mistakes in reading the words. A college student is expected to be experienced and hence his reading speed should range between 200-300 words per minute or even more. But not one parameter satisfies all, as there are students who ended up mugging up the things during their school time and their reading speed is not meeting the standards of speed read. An idle mind is a devil’s workshop but a mind cluttered with too many thoughts doesn’t help.


Hence, not one measure fits all. Though the college going students are similar if their subjects, age, or area of interest is concerned, but not all of them are same. Everyone is unique and so is their reading pattern and level of understanding. A college student should ideally be capable to reading a whole page of a book in nearly 2 minutes i.e., nearly 400 words per minute; but not all the students have the same speed. The good thing is, it can be practiced daily so that one can reach the desired speed. The quote says it all – “Practice makes man perfect” and helps develop good habits, that can be continued lifelong.