Best Speed Reading Software of 2018

Ryan Brown ·
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We researched the top speed reading software systems and compared the learning platforms and exercises. We looked at the number of users each product allows under a single license, the number of learning exercises each program offers and how many eBooks each program includes. Our top pick, 7 Speed Reading, includes thousands of eBooks with its software and scored the highest in our usability testing. This software includes eye-training exercises and reading exercises that work for beginning readers all the way up to college-level readers.    

Best Overall
7 Speed Reading
This software includes thousands of eBooks to practice speed reading and you can take periodic tests to see how your reading speed is progressing. This software also includes eye-training exercises.
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Best Value
Speed Reader-X
If you’re looking to increase reading speed with a software system, but don’t want to spend a lot, Speed Reader-X is our value pick because it costs less than $30 for a family license for a full year.
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Best for Schools
AceReader comes with individual and family options, but it also has educational pricing and licensing so you can get speed reading software for an entire classroom. It’s our top pick for schools.
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Best Overall
For consumers searching for an easy-to-use program, 7 Speed Reading is streamlined and intuitive. It’s easy to create an account, take a preliminary speed assessment and begin working on exercises and listening to courses.
The software is our top pick because it’s extremely easy to use and because it includes so many resources. The program is divided into training courses and practice exercises, letting you divide your time between learning about speed reading and practicing. This program includes training exercises that focus on speed reading and on training your eyes and your memory. This software works by flashing words and phrases to help your brain learn to read by grouping words together, rather than by focusing on individual words. 7 Speed Reading comes with a built-in library of over 20,000 eBooks that you can use during training. You can also import PDFs and entire web pages to practice your speed reading on material that you need to read for work or school. The software lets you customize font, text size and reading speed so that you don’t strain your eyes and so you can comprehend what you’re reading. This software is more expensive than several other programs we tested, and the license expires after 10 years. That should be more than enough time to increase your reading and you can install the program on an unlimited number of computers.
  • This software was the easiest to use in our testing
  • Includes a huge collection of over 20,000 eBooks
  • This software works with an unlimited number of users
  • One of the most expensive programs we tested
  • Graphics in the training lessons feel old and dated
  • Access expires after 10 years
$79.957 Speed Reading
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Best Value
Speed Reader-X is the least expensive software we tested, but it still offers lessons, activities and tests to help you practice to increase your reading speed. This software comes as a yearly subscription, but you can have an unlimited number of users with one account, making it great for families. Each user account is password-protected and you can track test scores and reading speed.
Speed Reader-X starts out by having you take a baseline reading speed test. As you practice the exercises and learn from the instruction, you can take more speed tests to see your progress. This software also includes eye-training exercises and other exercises that increase your field of vision, so you can read faster. The program comes preloaded with 17,000 different eBooks, the second most of all the programs we tested. You can change the speed at which words appear as well as modifying the font and text size to make the words easier to read. This software has an outdated appearance and isn’t particularly easy to use. Nonetheless, if you’re looking to get started with speed reading at the lowest price, this is our pick.
  • You can have an unlimited number of user accounts
  • The software automatically gives you speed and comprehension tests
  • The software includes 17,000 eBooks
  • The software looks outdated and the website is hard to navigate
  • The software doesn’t include comprehension exercises
  • This software only has a one-year license
$29.95Speed Reader-X
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Best for Schools
AceReader includes plans for schools, as well as plans for families and individuals. If you’re a teacher looking to implement speed reading as part of a reading curriculum, this is a good choice because it has straight-forward pricing and offers a dashboard for teachers to monitor the progress and content-level of material that students are reading.
This service doesn't require computer installation, which works well on mobile devices. You need merely to navigate to a website to open the program. Though it only includes around 600 eBooks for study and practice, some of the books cover SAT prep and history. Additionally, this program has over 200 training activities that students can use to learn speed reading strategies. With AceReader Elite, students can email their speed reading test scores to a teacher or an administrator allowing teachers to create classes and view reports. Reports show reading comprehension scores, test results, words-per-minute and other results. Teachers can import the content that they want their students to read and AceReader will show what grade level the content is so you can make sure your students are reading level-appropriate content.
  • You can customize content for readers by grade level
  • Includes over 800 comprehension tests
  • The software is web-based and can work on most devices
  • There is no live chat support feature
  • The software looks old and out-of-date
  • There are only a few hundred eBooks included with the software
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Best Speed Reading Course
Iris is one of the few programs we reviewed that’s more of an online learning course than software.
Rather than use digital games or activities to improve your eyes’ span and increase rapid eye movement, it has a series of videos that describe how to begin speed reading with materials you encounter every day such as a assigned texts for class or books. The CEO provides much of the instruction in a series of videos that were recorded in a classroom setting. Of the programs we reviewed, we were the most impressed with the quality of Iris’ video production. While there aren’t digital activities embedded in the software, Iris recommends some printable activities and tests you can use to track your progress. It also links to a free tachistoscope program online, which can flash copied text at your desired words-per-minute goal. We think the course is more reasonably priced than Rev it Up Reading, despite the latter’s inclusion of a few more digital activities. If you’re interested in this program, check out the course Iris has set up with It’s a better value because you can access dozens of other helpful courses like the one you find at Iris.
  • Well-produced videos
  • Few exercises and activities
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Best for College Students
In addition to offering speed reading and mental comprehension and retention exercises, eyeQ has a number of courses designed specifically to help students with test preparation, making it one of the best programs for students preparing to go to, or already in, college.
EyeQ is easily the most up-to-date and easy-to-navigate software we tested, but that might be because it has simple offerings. There’s a daily activity you complete as well as some reporting features. We like that each session is brief and easy to sneak into your day. We also found several games throughout the program designed to help increase response time and field of vision. Of the programs we tested, eyeQ is the best for teenagers or even students slightly younger. You can earn badges, and there’s specific programming for school-age children. We would have liked to have seen a few more features, but its monthly payment plan and free trial allow you to test those it has to see if it’s the best fit for improving your speed reading.
  • Offers additional courses for test prep
  • Missing some eBook and exercise activies
$19.99Infinite Mind
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Why Trust Us? 

Top Ten Reviews has been reviewing tech products and software for over a decade. We’ve published reviews about speed reading software since 2006.

We focused our comparison on actual speed reading software programs, instead of web apps like Spritz that simply flash words from a text selection. Amazon Fire tablets also have a feature, called Word Runner, that flashes words from eBooks as a type of speed reading training. However, we focused on software that gives you exercises to increase your offline reading speed and comprehension.

We downloaded each of the seven software programs in our comparison and tested them by going through exercises and taking comprehension tests.

How Much Does Speed Reading Software Cost?

Some programs only require a one-time download fee, though they often have a bit less connectivity than others. You access other programs by paying for a subscription that lasts several days, months or even years. While programs you pay for outright are often cheaper, we found that subscription software usually has more up-to-date features and can help you achieve your goals quickly. The programs we tested range in price from hundreds of dollars to less than $20 a month. We recommend you pay no more than $100 total, whether you opt for a subscription course or one-time download. 

How We Tested 

To compare speed reading software, we downloaded each program and compared the number and type of reading exercises as well as the settings and resources available in each program. The best software has initial speed tests to determine where you are and then occasional tests during your training to gauge your progress.

We counted the number of unique exercises and training games that each software offers, as well as the type of training. Many of the programs also offer memory, concentration and eye-training exercises. We also compared the number of eBooks that are included with each program.

We also compared price and license information. Programs that allow multiple users with a single license were ranked higher in our comparison than those that require a license for each user. We also judged the support options offered by each company and ranked companies that offer phone and email support higher than those that just offer email support.

How Speed Reading Software Works
Speed reading software uses a variety of eye exercises and tests to help you reduce bad reading habits while increasing your comprehension. Some bad reading habits include subvocalizing, or saying words while you read, regression, or going back over what you’ve already read and fixation, or only looking at one word at a time. The best software has exercises that train your eyes and your brain to scan multiple words at once and quickly move across the page without going back.

Most of the software we researched allows you to purchase yearly or multi-year subscriptions. However, EyeQ charges a monthly fee for access to its software.

How Do You Become a Speed Reader? 

Because so many of us have bad reading habits, the best way to become a speed reader is to learn how to eliminate bad habits and replace them with good ones. The software we tested retrains your brain by having you go through exercises to increase how many words you’re comfortable reading at once, and by increasing the speed at which those words appear.

Most of the programs we tested come with a library of eBooks that you can use to practice the methods and ideas that you learn in the lessons. With a lot of practice, you can greatly increase how fast you read.