TopTenREVIEWS Rates The Reader's Edge Best Speed Reading Software

 

Best Speed Reading Software

For the sixth year in a row, The Literacy Company, developers of The Reader's Edge, have been presented with the Gold award for speed reading software from TopTenReviews. One of the premier independent review companies, TopTenReviews focuses on providing detailed side-by-side review comparisons and product analysis. Upon comparison of 12 software programs in the speed reading industry, TopTenReviews has presented The Reader's Edge the highest award available. You can learn more about this review and the other speed reading programs by visiting TopTenReviews.com.

The Reader's Edge Reviewer's Comments

Everyone can benefit from comprehending and learning more through reading. The Reader's Edge, our "TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award" winning speed reading software has tools for all reading levels and can quickly get you or your students on their way to moving through large volumes of text faster, while comprehending more.

The Reader's Edge, created by The Literacy Company provides speed reading training for children and adults of all reading levels from a goal of 100 to a comfortable speed of 300 to 500 words per minute. One special exercise can even help you learn to skim and pre-read text at up to several thousand words per minute. We would argue that this program could be helpful not just for those that want to significantly improve their words per minute, but also for those that just simply want to increase their speed and comprehension for general purposes like reading the news or a novel by a particularly longwinded author.

The Literacy Company also offers a variety of editions, which cover everything from standard home use to large scale server support for schools, libraries and learning centers.

The Reader's Edge Standout Features:

  • Free updates for life
  • Money back guarantee
  • Suitable for all ages, 5-adult
  • A variety of editions available, can support more than one account
  • Can import and read text

Features Set

The Reader's Edge offers numerous tools for increasing speed and comprehension, as well as exercises designed to retrain the brain to read differently. Basically it helps you remove the obstacles that are preventing you from reading more quickly. It also includes access to a huge amount of text, or you can import your own.

It has six different types of speed reading exercises. Some of which are designed to help you read words faster, others help you to unlearn the process of internally "vocalizing" the words you see and others help you comprehend faster. It has recognition tests, mobility training, word group tests as well as vertical and horizontal span exercises. Many of these tests display a series of words briefly, usually not arranged in a grammatically correct manner, then you select from several options what you think the series of words were. It will tell you right away if you answered incorrectly. You will be surprised at how quickly you can increase your speed on these exercises and increase the number of words displayed and still be able to quickly recall the order of the words.

It also includes oral and visual sections. In the "Say it" section the words are read by a preferred coach voice and are highlighted as the words are read, this can be set to practice letters, words or numbers and you can adjust the number of words read, from one to eight. This section could be particularly helpful to young students who are just learning to read, with this exercise they can quickly learn what the written forms of words (which they likely already know by sound) look like.

The audio reading section will actually read sections of text and can be sorted by age group and general topics. We think this section would be especially helpful to young children, dyslexics, ESL students or those with limited vision. Though Reading Edge is not specifically designed for those with limited vision or ESL students, it can be used to read imported text, so basically it can read anything out loud; this could be useful to a lot of people.

This speed reading software can also keep track of progress and produce reports. The standard edition can maintain three accounts, so you can have multiple users. The professional (on two computers) and the network or server edditions have unlimited accounts.

Ease of Use

The Reader's Edge is simple to use, which it should be considering it is designed to be useful for those as young as five years old. You can easily get through the lessons and exercises through the easy-to-understand main menu and left navigation menu, which also features helpful drop down menus.

The program also has an exercise coach that when enabled can provide real-time help and offer suggestions. You can also get pronunciation help if you need it. The Reader's Edge has built in definitions that can be quickly accessed and offers synonyms, parts of speech and more.

The Reader's Edge can help those with dyslexia, limited vision or hearing. Text can be arranged by preference, font type and size can be manipulated and the number of words displayed can be changed as well, to accommodate those with special needs, or simply those with a preference. And for the hard of hearing, you can choose which voice you want to use for the audio annunciations and can of course adjust the volume on the computer or stereo projecting the sound.

We especially liked the large volume of online content that can be sorted by a variety of categories such as by reading level, author, or number of words. Or you can use the search tool, so you can easily find the type of reading material that you are looking for.

Ease of Installation/Setup

You can download The Reader's Edge directly from The Literacy Company's website or can have a disc mailed to you. The program works with Windows type operating systems. They also offer an easy to install network edition that can support an unlimited amount of users and a professional edition that can also support an unlimited amount of users on up to two computers. These editions are perfect for schools and learning centers. We downloaded our test edition from the Internet onto a computer running Windows XP Media Center and had zero problems; it installed extremely quickly and ran smoothly.

The other thing we liked is that they offer free updates for life, so you don't have to keep buying and installing a new edition every year.

Help/Support

The Help menu from The Reader's Edge contains a user guide, which is very well organized, it has a table of contents and clickable sub items that can be easily forwarded or backed through and it contains helpful screenshots for explaining features of the program. You can contact The Literacy Company through telephone or email, and they will get back to you within 24 hours. They offer quick links to email, their website and updates from the software's help menu. In terms of pre-sale, they offer a free demo and reading tests online to help you decide if you are interested in the program and live chat is available for immediate answers to questions.

Summary

We had a great time testing this software; it is fun, challenging and effective. In addition, unlike many learning programs, this reading program is for all ages and would be difficult to grow out of since you can import your own text, access plenty of text online and it can train at very high rates of speed. Furthermore, updates are guaranteed for life. It is also well priced and even the network edition for larger institutions is unexpectedly affordable.

In or tests we went from 300 words per minute to easily skimming 4,000 words per minute in only a matter of days. Of course this is not typical, because we are all writers and so on, but we were amazed; it really works. The Reader's Edge offers a free demo that is well worth trying out and a free reading test, so check it out. You will be surprised at how fast you can acquire new reading skills and learn to buzz through text at newly found astonishing speeds.

2009 TopTenREVIEWS Inc. All rights reserved. TopTenREVIEWS logo, Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Excellence award logos are registered trademarks of TopTenREVIEWS Inc. Used by permission. Ratings, Rankings and Awards are subject to change.

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