Learning Strategies Blog

5-day PhotoReading Test

August 18th, 2010 by Pete Bissonette

For years I was the lead coach for people calling in with questions on PhotoReading activation. The biggest breakthroughs came when the student would do the 5-Day PhotoReading Test.

It was so effective that we wrote it into the PhotoReading book and into the PhotoReading Results Supercharger DVD set.

The general idea is to activate books in short bursts over several days instead of all at once. This releases pressure and allows the material to incubate in your mind.

Day 1 – Select a nonfiction book in an area of interest that you do not have expertise. For easiest activation, the book should have 200 to 300 pages sprinkled with subheads and with chapters of about ten pages. Prepare and PhotoRead the book.

Day 2 – Prepare and Preview for one to two minutes, and then PhotoRead the book again. Then super read and dip so that you get through the entire book in the 30 minutes. Do not worry about comprehension.

Day 3 – Prepare and PhotoRead again. Then super read and dip through the book again so that you get through the entire book in 30 minutes. You should notice your comprehension increasing a bit.

Day 4 – Prepare and PhotoRead again. Super read and dip (or skitter) the entire book at a pace to get you through the book in 30 minutes.

Day 5 – Prepare and PhotoRead for the fifth time. Look at the Table of Contents and go to the sections from which you feel you need more information. Super read and dip or skitter to answer specific questions. Rapid read if you do not have specific questions but want more information. Save ten minutes at the end to mind map the book. Keep it simple, limiting the amount of detail. The goal is not to mind map the entire contents of the book, but to mind map the book as it relates to your purpose for choosing the book in the first place.

At this point you have spent two hours plus a bit and you should know everything you want to know.

With some books you may choose to spend one or two more “Day 4s.”

You should finish the book in one-third the time it would take to read the book in the traditional manner.

Follow this process for a couple of books and you’ll find yourself finishing the book in two or three sessions. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Play with it. Try it for yourself.


(Posted on August 18, 2010)

8 Responses to “5-day PhotoReading Test”

  1. Christa says:

    Thank you for this information! I have a question to day 2: prepare, preview, PhotoRead and super read and dip. In the PhotoReading Results Supercharger it says that you do postview at the end (instead of super read). What would you recommend? Thank you!

    • If you’re not following the five day test and looking to decide if the book is worth your time prepare, preview (60 seconds tops) PhotoRead and postview (12 minutes tops). This builds your curiosity and helps you decide whether you want to have more from the book.

      The 5 day test intends to focus on getting as much out of the book as you do with traditional reading and focuses on getting the same or more that you get from traditional reading. It’s an excellent method for polishing your activation skills. So when you use Rapid Reading you can flexibly use all the activation skills on any book.

      As you become proficient at PhotoReading you will find there are many books where you get what you need from a short postview and perhaps a single activation.

      While learning play with the full 5 day PhotoReading test on a few books.

  2. Rob says:

    Great tips!! I feel I need to do the Photoreading workshop you offer to really “get it”. When are you offering this?

  3. Matej says:

    Great tip, I will try it! Can I do Photoreading Test on technical books too? Here is link to free e-book example: http://www.scribd.com/doc/13596470/Basics-of-Electricity .

    Regards from Slovenia!

    • Pete Bissonette says:

      Definitely. I find that the more technical the book, the easier it is to understand when I do it on multiple days with multiple PhotoReading sessions. But, for first learning the system and building confidence, choose books as I described above. Set yourself up for success when you are first learning the system so that it serves you well for all applications. Pete

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