Why Your Brain Skips English Words While Reading: Tips For Improving

Picture this: you’re cruising through a text, trying to grasp every word, but your brain is pulling a disappearing act on you. It’s not trying to read some of the complex words in the text. They are vanishing into thin air and you might be missing out some important key points. You feel frustrated and perplexed because now you have to read the whole text again.

Guess what? You’re not alone in this. According to recent research, a whopping 70% of English learners tend to be like this. They are skipping words when reading something. It’s a staggering number, but through this blog, we want to make sure that you can get rid of it — with our findings and solution methods to overcome this hurdle.

No more confusion, no more missed information. In this blog, we’ll uncover those nasty reasons behind why our brain wants to skip words, shed light on why it poses a problem for English learners, and how to equip you with practical techniques to overcome this challenge.

How do we skip those words?

Skipping words while reading can occur due to various reasons, often leading to a breakdown in comprehension and hindering language learning progress. Let’s explore the common scenarios where this phenomenon tends to arise and understand the underlying causes.

Rapid Reading or Skimming Habits

In today’s world, we often find ourselves racing against time. When reading, the desire to cover a significant amount of material quickly can result in skipping words. Skimming can inadvertently cause us to overlook crucial words or phrases.

For example, when preparing for an exam, such as the SAT or IELTS, the pressure to finish within a time limit can push us to skim through passages, causing us to miss vital information and skip words that hold the key to comprehension.

Lack of Vocabulary Knowledge

Insufficient knowledge of words can prompt readers to skip over unfamiliar terms, assuming their meaning based on context or ignoring them altogether. When faced with a string of unfamiliar words, it becomes challenging to grasp the full meaning and nuances of the text.

Consider that you are encountering a scientific article with specialized terminologies you don’t know. Without a solid foundation of relevant words, you may be inclined to skip over those terms, leading to a disjointed understanding of the content.

Difficulty with Sentence Structure or Complex Texts

Complex sentence structures, dense paragraphs, or sophisticated literary works can pose a challenge, causing readers to skip words or phrases. When confronted with complex sentencing, it’s natural to struggle and skip ahead, hoping to grasp the overall message. Unfortunately, this can result in missing crucial details and impacting comprehension.

For instance, when reading a classic novel with intricate sentence structures like those found in Jane Austen’s works, readers unfamiliar with the style may find themselves skipping words or sentences to follow the general plot, inadvertently missing out on the beauty of the language.

Why Skipping Words is a Problem

Did you know? Studies have found that students who skip words during reading have an average 25% lower reading comprehension scores compared to those who don’t skip words.

Skipping words while reading can be a big issue for learning English, especially when it comes to exams. It makes it harder to understand the text and can lead to misunderstandings.

When we skip words, we miss important details, like the context and hidden meanings.This stops us from developing advanced language skills needed to do well in exams. Additionally, skipping words limits our vocabulary growth, making it difficult to communicate effectively and understand complex passages.

Research shows that students who skip words have lower reading comprehension scores and struggle with learning new words. To succeed in English exams, we must tackle this problem and use strategies to overcome the habit of skipping words.

Ways to overcome skipping words

To overcome the challenge of skipping words while reading, we can employ practical strategies and techniques that enhance our language skills. Let’s explore some actionable solutions.

Vocabulary building:

  • Read regularly to encounter new words.
  • Use vocabulary-building resources like flashcards and word lists. You can also the Vocavive App from Edvive—the app helps you learn your vocabulary with a subscription plan.
  • Practice using new words in sentences to reinforce understanding.

Reading techniques:

  • Start with shorter texts and gradually increase the length.
  • Use techniques like skimming and scanning to get an overview of the text. You can also use our Readvive Application – which will grow your English reading skill.
  • Engage in reading comprehension exercises to improve understanding.

Developing Active Reading Habits:

  • Annotate the text by underlining important words or phrases.
  • Summarize sections or paragraphs in your own words to check comprehension.
  • Discuss the text to deepen your understanding.

Interested to learn if reading helps with stuttering/stammering? Check out this free content from us!

Remember, progress comes with consistent effort and practice. By incorporating these strategies and also leveraging the digital apps from Edvive is helping, you can overcome the habit of skipping words and unlock your full potential in English reading. Stay committed, embrace the journey, and watch your language skills soar to new heights!

(Note: Edvive has two digital English learning tools – Vocavive and Readvive. These two tools offer comprehensive support in vocabulary building and reading skill enhancement, respectively. They are super helpful in aiding learners conquer the challenge of skipping words while reading)


overcoming the habit of skipping words while reading is crucial for improving English language skills, especially for those aiming to excel in competitive English exams. We explored the reasons behind skipping words, its negative impacts on comprehension and vocabulary development, and the practical strategies to address this challenge.

Remember, the journey to mastering English reading involves consistent effort, practice, and perseverance. There is a lot of strategies you need to approach soon, so learn and practice everyday.

To learn more thought-provoking, unexplored inputs about your English learning journey, stay connected with Edvive.

1 thought on “Why Your Brain Skips English Words While Reading: Tips For Improving”

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