309Write - Pakistani girl wins global speed reading competition

Pakistan's Emma Alam on Monday won the 13th World Speed Reading Championships finals, beating more than 100 competitors from all over the world.

Held in hybrid form, the championships, which were delayed due to Covid-19, concluded this week with a great victory for Team Pakistan.

Emma, who defeated her Chinese competitor in the finals, was also crowned in 2020 as the World Memory Champion and holder of two titles of Guinness World Records and also recognised as Pride of Pakistan by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Coming in the fourth position in the World Speed Reading Championships is Abeerah Ather. Team Pakistan also competed in the 12th World Mind Mapping Championship, in which Emma Alam grabbed third position and Ambreen Hameed fourth.

Several countries competed with over 100 competitors. The final results of both championships were verified and graded by the Global Chief.

Contrary to popular misconceptions, speed reading is not a tradeoff between speed and comprehension. With the right techniques one can read, comprehend and retain information in a fraction of the usual time.

During Speed Reading Championships, competitors are provided with a book and a maximum of two hours to read it. As soon as the competitor has finished reading, their time is recorded, the book is taken away and they are given the comprehension question paper with 20 questions designed by the author and by an arbiter of Guild of Mind Sports Arbiters, with a few specific rules.

For example, the questions require one or two sentences to answer, with no multiple choices. The provided book at the 2021 championship consisted of total 15,823 words which Emma Alam read in 20 minutes and 4 seconds at 789 words per minute with the extraordinary comprehension of 97 per cent giving Emma an effective reading speed of 7,648.

Effective reading speed is a calculation to determine a winner based on comprehension and WPM. Putting this in context, the average reading speed across the globe is around 200 words per minute.

“I feel great bringing home another World Title. I achieve, to inspire! To inspire young girls and youth, in general, to adapt to learning methods which are quicker, easier and game-changing for academic excellence," Emma said.

Emma and her team have been competing in various mind sports for the past four years


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