cartoon1One of the most common questions posed to me is how Breakthrough Test Prep  differs from other test prep programs. The most important difference is that we actually teach students how to read more efficiently – improve reading speed and comprehension. Of course, the bonus – that most parents especially like – is that they notice these invaluable skills carry over into their teen’s reading work at school!

I have been teaching efficient reading skills even longer than test prep. TRANSLATION: A VERY long time! Eventually, I merged the core techniques of efficient reading with all of my test prep programs. It makes sense that strong readers always score well, so teaching efficient reading to those students who may not be ‘readers’ is the foundation to significantly raise test scores. That said, there some BASIC efficient reading techniques that I can share with you so you can get a taste of how we teach these skills, particularly how to skim.

Skimming means reading to understand the point, not get all the details. This is how you need to initially approach a reading passage. There’s a time for skimming and a time for much slower reading based on content and purpose. NOTE: In all of Breakthrough Test Prep programs, students will learn a particular system as to how to approach a reading passage. Skimming is merely the first step.

Our minds can be trained to read silently and understand ideas best in word groups. Since the subject of communication is ideas not words, it would mean that if you stop at each word when you read, you are chopping up the author’s ideas. So if you read in word groups, you not only have the potential to read about three times faster, but your basic understanding can actually improve.

Here is a  drill  to provide you with a preview of how easy it is to read in word groups and have good understanding:

1. First, using a the back end of pen or pencil, tap back and forth on the large asterisks to get into the ‘rhythm’. You are training your eyes and brain to be a better team as the more consistently your eyes move down the page, the easier it is to concentrate and consequently, comprehend.

2. Then tap under each phrase at the asterisk, 2-3 taps per second.

3. Don’t forget to use a stopwatch (app) to time yourself as you read.

Upon finishing, you will find out your words per minute and take a short recall quiz. REMEMBER: The purpose of reading is to get ideas, not to say words.

I have a feeling you will be quite amazed at how well you will do!  Here’s your drill.



The above is an excerpt from Harriet’s Amazon bestseller, 6 Secrets to Master Successful SAT or ACT Test-taking: Develop the Skill Set and Mindset to Get the Score You Want and BEYOND!




Do you want your student to sharpen his efficient reading skills? If you have a teen who is a rising freshman or sophomore or presently in college, the summer is the perfect time to take the Efficient Reading Training Program. (Test preparation is NOT part of this training.)

If you have a rising senior or junior who wants to make sure her PSAT or SAT scores reflect her true potential, schedule your complimentary Test Prep Strategy Session.  Find out why summer is the optimum time for rising juniors to begin preparation and what is the best ‘game plan’ for your teen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *