Self Help

Become a SuperLearner - Learn Speed Readin - Jonathan Levi

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Matheus Puppe

· 13 min read

Here’s a summary of the Introduction to the Course:

• The course teaches skills to become a “SuperLearner” - someone who has a thirst for knowledge and the means to acquire it rapidly.

• The course provides progressive steps to build skills in reading faster, improving memory, and learning comprehension. Homework and quizzes help reinforce the skills.

• The course was developed by Jonathan Levi, Dr. Lev Goldentouch, and Prof. Anna Goldentouch out of a passion for learning and helping others learn more effectively.

• Jonathan tells the story of how he met Dr. Lev Goldentouch, who seemed to read and comprehend articles at an astonishing speed. This led Jonathan to ask Dr. Lev to teach him and others how to become “SuperLearners.”

• The course provides the tools and techniques Dr. Lev taught Jonathan to read faster, memorize more, and learn with greater comprehension. By following the course, students can develop the skills to become SuperLearners.

• Questions can be directed to the authors via links in the course materials. An active Facebook group provides community support.

• The key to success is progressing through the course in order and practicing the techniques through homework and application. Skipping around may lead to frustration and missing the ultimate goal.

• The course teaches concrete skills to “hack” learning, “ace” learning ability, and “keep” a sharp mind at any age or stage of life. Terminology changes, but the core skills remain the same.

The author met Lev, who could read extremely fast with high comprehension. Lev introduced the author to his wife, Anna, who teaches speed reading and accelerated learning. The author took Anna’s course and greatly improved her reading speed and comprehension.

The author, Lev, and Anna created an online course and book to teach others speed reading and accelerated learning. This book provides a six-week syllabus to become a “super learner.”

In the first week, you learn about learning techniques, improving your memory, and using mental images. In the second week, you create “markers” or visual bookmarks to help you remember what you read. You also learn linking techniques to connect ideas.

In the third week, you learn pre-reading techniques to stimulate interest and curiosity. In the fourth week, you learn to read faster by eliminating subvocalization and improving your eye spans.

In the fifth week, you speed train by using a card to track your pace. You also create markers at faster speeds.

In the sixth week, you learn long-term memory techniques like mind mapping, memory palaces, chunking, and mnemonics. You also learn good learning habits regarding sleep, environment, and software.

After six weeks, continue practicing to reach at least 700 words per minute with 85% comprehension. Practice daily for at least 10 minutes. Don’t rush through the techniques. Becoming highly proficient takes diligent practice over time.

The key message is that with consistent practice of effective learning techniques, you can become a “super learner” and greatly improve your reading speed, comprehension, and memory. But mastery requires patience and persistence.

Our goal is to become a SuperLearner. We will break old learning habits and learn new skills.

Part 2 - Improve memory and learn how we learn Part 3 - Learn “mental markers” for effective learning Part 4 - Pre-reading and prep work. Best practices. Part 5 - Learn speed reading. Double or triple reading speed. Improve comprehension and focus. Part 6 - Speed reading hacks to smooth the learning curve Part 7 - Store information long term Part 8 - Healthy learning habits Part 9 - Apply skills to different areas: languages, online classes, etc.

Practice each part 20-60 minutes a day until significant progress. Then move on. Build skills step by step. Do not rush. Move at your own pace. Practice daily.

• Your brain is made up of neurons, which are electrically excitable cells that transmit information via electrochemical signals called synapses.

• Neurons connect to each other to form neural networks.

• The more connections there are to a neuron, the less likely it is to fade away or be removed. This is why we rarely forget information that has many connections, like a childhood address.

• To ensure we remember new information, we need to create more connections to it, forcing our brain to retain it like everyday information.

• Children naturally do this by repeating and interacting with information and objects in many ways, building connections through experience. We can replicate this process for effective learning.

The key takeaway is that creating more connections in our brain, through repetition, association, visualization, and experience, helps ensure the long-term retention of information. The SuperLearning techniques we will learn are designed to build these connections.

Does this summary make sense? Let me know if you have any other questions!

Here are some other tips if you have trouble visualizing:

• Focus on colors, shapes or movements instead of detailed images. For example, imagine a red circle bouncing or a yellow squiggly line.

• Use exaggerated or caricatured images. Make images bigger, smaller, funnier or more bizarre. This can make them more memorable.

• Combine multiple senses. For example, imagine the sound of a coffee cup clinking, the smell of fresh coffee and the warmth of the cup in your hands.

• Tell a story or create a sequence of events around the information you’re trying to remember. Stories and sequences are highly memorable, even without strong visuals.

• Focus on how information feels or sounds rather than how it looks. Use rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and nonsense words or phrases. These techniques don’t require visualization.

• Sketch simple stick figures or diagrams instead of trying to visualize realistic images. Drawing, even crude drawing, can be very helpful for memory.

• Ask someone else to describe an image for the information you want to remember. Their description may be easier for you to visualize and recall.

• Repeat or rephrase information out loud. Speaking activates other parts of your memory. Combine visualization practice with speaking for the best results.

With practice and persistence, your ability to visualize will improve. But don’t get discouraged if you continue to struggle. There are many memory techniques that don’t rely heavily on visualization. The key is to use what works for you and your natural abilities.

Here is a short excerpt from Charles Darwin’s famous work, On the Origin of Species:

As more individuals of any species are born than can possibly survive; and as, consequently, there is a frequently recurring struggle for existence, it follows that any being, if it vary however slightly in any manner profitable to itself, under the complex and sometimes varying conditions of life, will have a better chance of surviving, and thus be naturally selected.

From the strong principle of inheritance, any selected variety will tend to propagate its new and modified form. This fundamental subject of natural selection, as bearing upon the perpetuation of numberless past modifications of structure in relation to the habits of each species, is elsewhere treated by me at great length, inasmuch as it is grounded on the view that each slight variation, if useful, is preserved by the term struggle for existence, and the variations which are favoured will tend to be preserved by natural selection.

As geology plainly proclaims that each land has undergone great physical changes, we might expect that organic beings would be modified in accordance with changed conditions. But if all the inhabitants of any region were destroyed, or only altered so much that their mutual relations became incompatible, the struggle for existence would be weakened or rendered obsolete; and hence natural selection would have free course.


How long did it take you to read this text (245 words) with ≥ 80% retention?

• Under 1 Minute (Over 245 words per minute)

• 1:00 - 1:30 (150-245 words per minute)

• 1:30 - 2:00 (115-150 words per minute)

• 2:00 - 2:30 (100-115 words per minute)

• 2:30 - 3:00 (85-100 words per minute)

• Over 3 Minutes (Less than 85 words per minute)

(To get an exact number, divide 245 by the number of seconds on your timer, then multiple by 60. For example, if it took you 2 minutes 35 seconds, you would divide 245 by 155 seconds and multiply by 60, for a result of 98 words per minute.

•Reading Speed: _____________wpm

Question 2:

What is Darwin’s primary principle of natural selection?

• Variations that are useful or profitable to a species will tend to be preserved.

•There is a constant struggle for existence.

•More individuals are born than can survive.

•Species are subject to small, random variations.

•Landscapes undergo major geographical changes over time.

Question 3:

According to Darwin, what must occur for natural selection to act without restraint?

• Species inhabitants must vary slightly in profitable ways.

•There must be a frequently recurring struggle for existence.

•Inheritance must strongly pass on selected variations.

•The mutual relations between inhabitants must become incompatible.

•More individuals must be born than can possibly survive.

Question 4:

Darwin states that natural selection has been treated by him in depth:

•Nowhere else.


•Here and elsewhere.

•Only here.

Question 5:

Darwin argues that:

• Natural selection favors small variations only.

• Natural selection favors any variation, no matter how small.

• Natural selection favors large variations only.

• Natural selection does not favor variations.

Question 6:

According to Darwin, the “struggle for existence” is:

• Frequent.

• Occasional.

• Rare.

• Nonexistent.

Question 7:

Darwin refers to which of the following factor(s) as supporting his theory of natural selection?

• Geology

• Inheritance

• Variation

• Geography

• All of the above

• None of the above

Question 8:

Where does Darwin state that natural selection acts to the benefit of each species?

• Here

• Elsewhere

• Both here and elsewhere

• Nowhere


  1. Reading Speed: ____________wpm

Reading Retention: _________%

  1. Variations that are useful or profitable to a species will tend to be preserved.

  2. The mutual relations between inhabitants must become incompatible.

  3. Elsewhere

  4. Natural selection favors any variation, no matter how small.

  5. Frequent

  6. All of the above

  7. Elsewhere

Appendix 3: Reading Speed And Retention Test 3

You have now been exposed to several speed reading techniques, as well as comprehension and memory strategies. Let’s see how much progress you have made with another speed and comprehension test.

At this point, you should be reading significantly faster, with equal or higher comprehension. If not, review the techniques and keep practicing. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and developing advanced reading skills takes conscious practice.

Question 1:


Read the following text at the fastest speed you can, while attempting to remember and store at least 80% of the pertinent details. Use a timer, starting and stopping at the indicated points, to measure your speed. Once you have completed this question, you will be asked a series of questions that test your understanding and retention of the material.


The sun had just sunk behind the western hills. The sky still glowed, however, with the reflected light of the hidden sun. Against this bright reflected light, the rosy twilight clouds were illuminated in glowing shades—yellow, pink and orange. Gradually, the color grew darker as the evening progressed. Above, in the higher regions of the atmosphere, thin puffs of gray cirrus clouds reflected all the colors of the spectrum.

The whole west seemed to be on fire, while long shafts of violet shadows began to creep from the hills and creep stealthily toward the lurid sun. Then, as night closed in, the colors began slowly to fade until at last they were engulfed in the darkness of night. The glowing sun had set and the glowing landscapes which its departing radiance left behind were “rapidly fading into the light of common day.”

But the splendor of that burning western sky lived on for many years afterwards, vivid as ever in his memory; its gold and rose, its gleams of orange and pale crimson, its flashes of opal, azure and purple and green—all bathed in that strange, unnatural wavering light of late sunset. No painter ever yet set canvas burning with such lawless gorgeous hues as those. It seemed like the giving up of earth to heaven—one burst of strange fierce music to speed the dying sun.

Down the sloping fields level beams of golden light streamed over the undulating hills and dales. The silent reapers had finished their days of toil and were resting from their labors. A sweet calm pervaded all nature. Peace seemed to reign everywhere. The earth appeared already to have sunk into her midnight slumbers. The very winds had gone to rest and not a leaf seemed stirring. The sun in his decline appeared satisfied in leaving no abiding lines of purple and gold behind him as a tribute to his glorious reign. Truly night was rapidly devouring the remaining vestiges of the departing day. “O’er all this quiet scene” silence and darkness were brooding and calmness and solitude reigning.


How long did it take you to read this text (384 words) with ≥ 80% retention?

•Under 1 Minute (Over 384 words per minute)

•1:00 - 1:30 (230-384 words per minute)

•1:30 - 2:00 (192-230 words per minute)

•2:00 - 2:30 (160-192 words per minute)

•2:30 - 3:00 (128-160 words per minute)

•Over 3 Minutes (Less than 128 words per minute)

•Reading Speed: _____________wpm

Question 2:

Which colors are specifically mentioned in the description of the sunset?

•Gold, rose, orange and pale crimson

•Yellow, pink, orange, and azure

•Gold, rose, orange, pale crimson and green

•Yellow, pink, orange, pale crimson, azure, purple and green

Question 3:

What metaphor is used to describe the sunset in the first paragraph?

•The sky seemed on fire.

• The west was engulfed in darkness.

• The sun was giving up earth to heaven.

• Night was rapidly devouring the remaining vestiges of day.

Question 4:

How does the author describe the light from the sunset?

• Strange and unnatural

• Natural and bright

• Dark and fading

• Pale and weak

Question 5:

What sensory details does the author use to portray the peaceful evening scene? Select all that apply.

•The silent reapers had finished their days of toil.

•A sweet calm pervaded all nature.

• Peace seemed to reign everywhere.

•The earth appeared already to have sunk into her midnight slumbers.

•The winds had gone to rest.

•Not a leaf seemed stirring.

• Calmness and solitude were reigning.

Question 6:

The speaker dropped out of college after 6 months for which of the following reasons:

He couldn’t afford the tuition.

He didn’t know what he wanted to do with his life.

He wanted to take only classes that interested him.

A and B

A, B and C

Question 3

The speaker’s biological mother initially refused to sign the adoption papers because:

She wanted him to be adopted by college graduates.

She was upset his adoptive parents had not graduated from college.

She had changed her mind about the adoption at the last minute.

She wanted a girl instead of a boy.

Question 4

After dropping out of college, the speaker:

Slept on friends’ dorm room floors.

Collected Coke bottles to buy food.

Walked 7 miles each week for a meal at a Hare Krishna temple.

All of the above.

None of the above.

Question 5

The speaker says taking a calligraphy class during his time at Reed College turned out to be:


Interesting but not very practical.

Romantic and priceless.

None of the above.

Question 6

The speaker implies that dropping out of college:

Allowed him to follow his curiosity and intuition.

Turned out to be one of the best decisions he ever made.

Gave him more flexibility in the classes he could take.

All of the above.

None of the above.

Question 7

The speaker’s original plan was to be adopted by:

A lawyer and his wife.

College graduates.

His biological mother.

No one. He was not put up for adoption.

Question 8

The speaker gave this commencement speech:

To share lessons he learned from dropping out of college.

To encourage students to follow their passions and interests.

To explain that sometimes choices that seem wrong turn out right.

All of the above.

None of the above.

The speaker never:

  • Graduated from college

  • Understood why people go to college

  • Regretted dropping out of college

The speaker dropped out of Reed College after 6 months.

False: The speaker’s biological parents did not give him up because they wanted a girl.

The speaker’s biological mother did not insist that:

  • Her child would grow up with siblings

The speaker dropped out of college because:

  • It was too expensive for his parents
  • He didn’t see the value in it
  • He didn’t know what he wanted to do in life
  • He figured it would work out “OK”

The speaker did not:

  • Sell artwork

The speaker became fascinated with one subject in particular: Calligraphy

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About Matheus Puppe