AceReader makes it easy to manage several accounts from one central hub. As such, it is a good fit for parents who want to help their children increase their reading speed as well as educators who want to see reporting on their students’ progress.
There are several versions of the software: one for families, one for educators and one for personal use. The personal software, the least expensive of the three, starts at $39. The subscription only lasts a year, and if you don’t complete the course within that time, you need to pay an additional fee to continue accessing the material.
Because AceReader is an online speed reading program, you don’t have to install an application on your computer – you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection by logging into your account. It works on Mac and Windows with popular browsers as well as on Android or Apple iOS.
AceReader’s library seems scant compared to the 20,000 public domain titles included in 7 Speed Reading – we found only 47 texts to use during our testing. However, you can upload your own documents as well.
Compared to other speed reading software and courses we tested, AceReader’s reporting features for individuals, parents and teachers are impressive. There’s a section dedicated to your progress, which records your times and displays them in easy-to-read charts and graphs. And parents can keep track of their children’s progress through an administrator portal. The program has 13 levels, or “text-complexities,” to meet the needs of learners of different skill levels in a variety of age groups.
While the program tries to engage students by adjusting the difficulty based their initial assessment, we think AceReader’s style, testing and documents are best suited for teenagers and adults. Each activity usually consists of drills or articles about speed reading. However, there aren’t any games, which some of the other programs we tested, including eyeQ, have.
The program emphasizes comprehension and recommends you do a couple 15- to 20-minute sessions several times a week over a couple months to improve your reading speed. There are several ways to engage with the program: course mode, menu mode and read mode.
Course mode features short lessons and instructions you scroll and read through, punctuated with a variety of drills and tests, including warm-up exercises and eye-pacing drills. Menu mode organizes the software’s comprehension tests and reading improvement activities onto a single page so they are easy to navigate. In reading mode, you press play to use the digital tachistoscope, a tool that flashes text on the screen at a measured pace to help you read through it quickly.
It’s easy to access help and support directly from AceReader’s dashboard. You can email the company with questions or concerns.
AceReader excels in the variety of exercises it offers. The program features more than 200 training exercises organized into five categories: minimizing subvocalization, eliminating rereading and regression, expanding the eye-fixation zone, reducing eye-fixation time and increasing re-fixation speed. In addition, it has well over 600 eBooks for drill and practice. The included eBooks cover such subjects as American history, earth and space science, famous people, fun facts and even SAT prep material. Finally, with 830 comprehension tests, there is little chance you will repeat lessons. The program's features keep you engaged in what could otherwise become a monotonous daily chore. If you're interested in more speed reading courses, 7 Speed Reading is our top pick and includes multiple courses to learn techniques and tips.
When you first use the program, you'll take an initial speed assessment and from there, you can track your progress as your speed increases. To keep things fun, the software also has a variety of brain-training games to engage your newly-developed skills and break up the repetitive exercise and test routine. Overall, the software is easy to use, though perhaps a bit outdated in its appearance.
With 625 included eBooks, you can practice your speed reading skills with a book you’re interested in, instead of being forced to read a random text excerpt. In case you don’t find what you want in the included eBook library, the software gives you the option to easily import any of your own favorite texts. In addition, you can also connect the software to your preferred web browser, which lets you read news sites, email and more.
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To reduce eye strain, AceReader lets you customize your text font and size. It is also compatible with text from other languages besides English, which is a helpful feature, especially if you are trying to learn another language or if English isn’t your native language.
While reading, you can manually adjust the speed at which the text is displayed on your screen, or you can let the program automatically adjust text speed according to your demonstrated progress. Depending on which test or exercise you are currently on, you see text displayed either partially or wholly.
This accelerated reading program offers several reporting options. You can view your overall advancement through progress charts on the main interface and see your reading comprehension scores, test results, words-per-minute rate and more. If there are multiple users, each user account is protected by a password.
Schools and other multiple-user organizations can also use AceReader Elite. It has a feature to allow users to email their test scores. The administrative function gives you access to all of the admin features as well as the regular accelerated reading program for schools. In the admin section, you can also create and manage classes and generate reports. You can customize specific settings as well as the content you want your users to read, allowing you to incorporate content that correlates to material being taught in class. Furthermore, the software indicates the grade level of any customized content so you can determine if the material is too difficult or easy for your reader. If this program is too expensive for you, we recommend Speed Reader-X as our budget pick.
This speed reading software receives full marks for its friendly and efficient help and support. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the software, you can contact a support representative via telephone or email. You can also access FAQs, video tutorials, user manuals and quick-start guides on AceReader's website. These resources provide step-by-step help plus any additional assistance you need to use this software to its full potential.
AceReader has a slightly outdated platform, but nonetheless, it’s a good fit for educators and parents who want to monitor their students’ speed reading progress. We were impressed with AceReader’s emphasis on comprehension, though we’d like to see more texts in its library and an easier way to use the tachistoscope on various documents.