Common Questions about the Reading Course

Is this a speed-reading course?

While students in the course do increase their reading speed (typically doubling it), the Reading Course is much more than a speed-reading course.

This course helps improve your focus, comprehension, memory, and speed by teaching you to use your mind more actively and your attention more judiciously. Mindful, strategic reading enables you to read not only faster, but more efficiently.

If I read selectively, will I miss something?

Yes, but if you don't read selectively, you will also miss something because you never get to the end of the chapter, book, or reading list.

Since it is not possible to read every word of every page of every text you encounter, you inevitably need to read some things more closely than others and to skip some things altogether. The Reading Course teaches you to make those choices strategically, based upon your particular needs, purposes, and circumstances.

Is the course just for Harvard students?

No, the course is open to anyone.

Although the course is designed primarily for university students, it is useful for professionals and others who want to read more efficiently and effectively.

Is there homework?

There is no homework other than to practice the strategies you learn in the course on your own reading and studying.

Throughout the course, there is an emphasis on transferring the skills you learn in class to the reading you do outside of class.