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What Is the Average Reading Speed for Adults?

Updated: May 23, 2024

The average reading speed for adults is about 300 words per minute (wpm), but many people can read much more quickly than that. According to one survey, the average college student reads about 450 wpm, and college professors can read 675 words in the same amount of time. As of 2012, the world speed reading record was 4,700 wpm. Audiobook readers generally are advised to keep their reading speed to about 150 wpm so that their listeners can understand them.

More about reading speed:

  • In the US, the average third-grader, typically about 8 years old, reads about 150 wpm.

  • At least two US presidents, John F. Kennedy and Jimmy Carter, were speed readers.

  • Critics of speed reading argue that its techniques lead people to skim text rather than actually read it.

Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.
Discussion Comments
By anon1003711 — On Aug 21, 2020

In my experience fast talkers are more prone to lying!

By anon294195 — On Sep 30, 2012

Absolutely. So-called speed readers skim. Question them in detail about what they have just read and they tend to be vague. They have a rough idea of the subject matter but that's all

By anon294180 — On Sep 30, 2012

Does this mean that fast talkers are smarter?

Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
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