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News and Articles

Shilin Speed Reading News and Articles

Re-imagining the Education System
Helping Wits University students realise their true reading potential

On 19.07.2017, by Martin Sam

What if textbooks that once took students months to read were read in just a single week? What if the three years we take to finish an undergraduate degree was shortened to two or even one year? What if we didn’t need to spend the first 23 years of our life in the education system and instead begin spending our time enhancing our skills, gaining experience and serving others by doing what we love from a much younger age?

During the last 3 weeks I have been working with a group of Wits University students during our first scholar and student Shilin Speed Reading program during the June vacation break.

The phenomenal group of young, hard working students surpassed even my own expectations of what is possible with this course. All but one student achieved a reading speed of over 1200 words per minute. Two students achieved a reading of over 3000 words per minute, including Kevin Li who reached a final reading speed of 4388 words per minute.

To put this into perspective, the average human being reads between 150 and 250 words per minute. The starting reading speeds of the group ranged from 120 - 220 words per minute.

Tshepiso Tsotetsi, an actuarial science student from Wits University, achieved the top final reading speed of the group.

In a group of outstanding students who were showing potential greater than any other group we've had in recent history, Tshepiso was always slightly ahead of the rest of the group.

After the first week of training Tsephiso decided to test the effects of what the course. He picked up a book that he had been reading for the last month and completed the 500 page book in just a day. This is a book that took him over a month to read the first 100 pages. Seeing the transformation Tsephiso began putting in more effort and work into the course and continually saw improvements in his reading speed.

Video: Tsephiso reflecting on reading a 500 page book in just a day.

On the final two days Tshepiso kept breaking through his personal records and became most likely the fastest reading student in South Africa and our second over 10000 words per minute student this year. On the final day Tshepiso recorded a reading speed of 9792 words per minute. Believing he could do better we tested him again where he recorded a reading speed of over 18772 words per minute.

Tsephiso reads half a page of text in the same time the average human being reads a single word. He started with the lowest reading speed of the group at 120 words per minute and increased his reading speed by 15000% in just 3 weeks. He also read every single book we had, requiring us to find new books to test on.

We cannot wait to see who he becomes as a student, in his professional career and the contribution that he will make to the country and the world. It has been a privilege and an inspiration working with Tsephiso and the rest of the kids of this group. All I can say is if this is future of South Africa we have little to worry about.

Thabo Radebe, 18 years old Wits University Student.

Thabo began the course with a reading speed of 204 words per minute and completed the course with a final reading speed of over 1851 words per minute. An 800% increase in his reading speed with full comprehension.

Even though he battled with the vigorous and challenging exercises he persisted and completed all the work. He also remained committed to stretching himself and going beyond his perceived limitations.

Kevin Jincheng Li, 19 years old Wits University Student.

Kevin started with a reading speed of 199 wpm and completed the course with the second fastest reading speed of the group with an extraodinary final speed of 4388  words per minute.

He decided to test his reading capabillities on his grade 12 English literature book, "The Great Gatsby". It is a book he did NOT complete reading throughout his grade 12 year. He found that he was able to read the book in under an hour!

Jimmy Yuan, actuarial science student from Wits University.

We firstly would like to thank Jimmy again for bringing many of his friends to join us on the course.

Jimmy managed to increase his reading speed from 220 words per minute to 1512 words per minute on the final day.


Roshan Seejarim, 19 year old Bcomm student from the University of Witwatersrand.

Roshan began the course with a reading speed of of 203 words per minute and completed the course with a final reading speed of 1210 words per minute.

Roshan was reading with a three line "frame" on his final test, meaning he reads 3 lines of text at the same time as the average human being takes to read a single word, with full comprehension.


Video Footage from the Course


Footage of the final day reading test from the June 2017 student program. The majority of students reading with a reading frame of 3 lines of text at a time.


Roshan Seejarim giving his feedback from the course


Jimmy Yuan video testimonial

Martin Sam

Shilin Speed Reading Institute