Have you ever wondered how fast you read compared to others? It is easy to calculate your word per minute reading speed and can be beneficial to do so.
If you calculate your speed, you can see where you stand and learn what you may be able to do to speed up your reading a bit.
Learning to increase your reading speed and comprehension can make reading for school, work, or even fun, a lot easier.
Check out some easy ways to calculate your reading speed and see if you are a speed reading champion, or if you need a little improvement.
How to Calculate Words Per Minute (WPM)
The easiest way to get a quick assessment of your reading speed is by setting a timer for one minute, hit go, and start reading. Once the timer ends, count how many words you read in that minute.
The basic formula is the number of words read divided by the minutes it took to read.
This is the most straightforward way to calculate your reading speed, but you may want to be more precise.
To calculate word per minute more accurately, you can first convert your time into seconds to get a precise decimal calculation.
To calculate this, you take the number of whole minutes you read, multiply it by 60, then add the extra number of seconds.
(Whole Minutes Read x 60 + Extra Seconds Read = Total Seconds Read)
Then you simply divide the number of words you read by the total number of seconds read.
(Number of Words Read / Total Seconds Read = Words Per Second.)
You now have words per second, so you multiply your answer by 60 to get your final words per minute speed.
(Words Per Second x 60 = Words Per Minute)
You read a 550-word article in 2 minutes, (Whole Minutes) and 29 seconds, (Leftover Seconds.)
2 x 60 + 29 = 149 Total Seconds Read
550 / 149 = 3.69 Words Per Second
3.69 x 60 = 221.47 Words Per Minute
221.47 is an average (wpm) reading speed.
If you don’t want to take the time to calculate your speed by hand, you can find a speed reading test online. These make the process very easy and automated.
Words Per Minute Factors
When calculating your reading speed in (wpm), there are some essential things to consider for accuracy.
Reading Level of Material
The reading level is crucial as an adult will more likely score higher if they are reading a children’s level book instead of something like a news article.
You should read something at your level when testing your speed, and try to keep it at that same level, or higher, to challenge yourself on further tests.
It’s also important to consider text size when testing your speed because smaller text is naturally harder to read than bigger text.
This may not be a huge deal, but it is something to think about for reliable testing.
Familiarity With Material
If you have already read the material you are using to test your speed with, it can skew your test score. It just becomes easier to piece things together if you already know a little about it or have read it completely.
For each test, try to use some new material that you haven’t read before.
A reliable way to test your reading speed on unfamiliar material is by using reading speed tests online. These are very useful as they allow you to set the reading difficulty and time for your reading. They also test you for comprehension.
Reading Speed Charts
Once you have figured out your words per minute speed, now you can see where you stack up.
You can use this chart to better understand how much work is need for you to become a speed reading champion.
Average Reading Speed For Adults
The average reading speed for an adult is around 200-300 (wpm).
An average adult will normally read around 200-250 (wpm), while an adult college student will more likely read closer to 300 (wpm).
The fastest readers in the world claim to read more than 25,000 words per minute!
However, the current speed reading champions are tested and proven to be able to read in the 1000-2000(wpm) range.
Reading Words Per Minute By Grade Level
Here are the average reading speeds for schools grades level 1-12.
The below stats are the words per minute for youth without any vision issues.
1st Grade – Less than 81
2nd Grade – 82 – 108
3rd Grade – 109 – 130
4th Grade – 131 – 147
5th Grade – 148 – 161
6th Grade – 162 – 174
7th Grade – 175 – 185
8th Grade – 186 – 197
9th Grade – 198 – 209
10th Grade – 210 – 224
11th Grade – 225 – 240
12th Grade – 241 – 255