Personal Speed Reading Tutor to Read Faster
AceReader Elite 2015 is the latest edition of Stepware’s popular speed reading software tutor which has been released more than 18 years ago. Read our review to see if this program will suit your needs.
Elite (visit website) is actually the successor of the former Deluxe edition, with the first version being released in 2013. The relaunch added several new features such as an updated design, more training activities, themed reading comprehension, eBook access and a stopwatch.
The program offers advanced administration tools to teach students more efficiently as well as unlimited user accounts. AceReader Elite is suitable for adults, students and children and supports preparation for SAT/ACT tests.
|Go to Website||$69.95||★★★★★★||Sophisticated software with easy to use interface.|
1. AceReader Elite: Overview Features
User Interface: Fresh, clean and easy to use. The Elite edition sports an updated startup screen. This feature allows students to better navigate and understand the program’s setup.
Videos: Students not familiar with the topic and techniques of accelerated reading can watch some basic instructional videos to get started. The library also includes tutorials on how to use the program. Users choosing the Premium package will also get access to professional teaching videos provided by Iris.
Categorized Training Activities: There are a bunch of new exercises and activities. Simple explanations show what the training is about and why to do a specific exercise.
The drill activities focus on these speed reading categories:
- Minimizing Subvocalization
- Eliminating Regression
- Learning to read chunks of words
- Reducing Eye Fixation Time
- Increasing Re-Fixation Speed
Set a goal and keep track: AR Elite comes with Courses and Drills to help you reach goals, which can be specific words per minute or comprehension levels. The activities adjust according to your skill level. An info chart of average and optimal reading speeds will help you setting realistic goals.
Themed Material: To combine learning to read faster with interesting topics such as American History, Earth & Space Science, Famous People, Fun Facts, and SAT Prep, you no longer need to buy them as add-ons. They are now included in the AceReader Elite 2015, which is a big enhancement and difference to the Deluxe edition. (Visit Product website.)
eBook Library: For practicing you may either choose above mentioned learning themes or pick one of the 625 carefully-picked e-Books. If that’s not enough simply load them form the internet with the click of a button.
Advanced Administration: Manage users and assign students to classes, generate reports and graphs for monitoring you or your children’s progress. See your daily status indicator and recommended activities. Create and customize Tests, Drills, and Games. Create your own Flash Card material to and turn them into motivating games. There is also a statistics analysis tool to better assess the grade level and complexity of text material.
Unlimited users and accounts: You can use Elite for children, students, friends and family members. Login with your nick name to keep the settings and test scores separate for each user. AceReader Elite also ships with a license for 3 different work stations.
Stopwatch: This is a great feature to check your reading speed. The program will display a running clock and calculates current words per minute while running a self-paced comprehension test.
2. Training Modes
After launching the tutor you will see the startup screen with three different training modes: Course Mode, Menu Mode and Reading Mode.
Use Course mode to run daily exercises; Menu if you want to improve specific reading skills and Reading Mode to load material and train all skills you have already learned.
We found navigation very simple and intuitive. The different sections are briefly explained so you don’t have to worry what is what.
- Course Mode
Here you will find guided training lessons consisting of leveled and themed general reading tips, reading comprehension tests, eye pacing drills and fun eye exercise/brain games. Choose from 13 text complexity levels.
We followed their recommendation to stick with a maximum of 6 activities per day and found it very motivating. Elite recognizes where you stopped a session which makes it easy to follow-up and also not to overuse the program.
There are a total of 234 different training lessons including thousands of unique activities. These combine with over 800 leveled and themed comprehension tests. However, to avoid confusion, users only need to choose between the three training modes to get started. From our experience, you will automatically start browsing for new tests, features and challenges once you are familiar with the interface.
- Menu Mode
We enjoyed choosing from the wide variety of available speed reading tests, drills and games. One of the major improvements to former versions is that drills have been now broken apart into skill sections and to train them separately. These are:
- Self-paced comprehension tests
- Forced Speed/Mode comprehension tests
- Warm-up drills
- Minimizing subvocalization
- Eliminating re-reading & regression
- Expanding your eye fixation zone
- Reducing you eye fixation time
- Increasing your re-fixation speed
- Play fun eye training & brain games
The exercises are clearly explained to know what you are working on and how it will benefit you.
- Reading Mode
This mode is a powerful, unique and popular part of AceReader Elite. It gives you full control over the display modes, and speed settings. You can train with provided or your own content (i.e. web pages, emails, documents, and eBooks).
3. AceReader Variants and Add-ons
There are two versions available plus several add-ons that can enhance your learning experience.
The Standard Edition includes all features mentioned above. ( Current price: $69.95).
The Premium Package on top features professional teaching videos, which are provided by Iris, a trusted provider of live and online training courses to enhance your reading skills. More than 200,000 companies and organizations worldwide use these classes. The package includes:
- Guided video instruction provided from the experts at Iris Reading
- 29 video tutorials with more than 12 hours of unique content
- 121-page e-book to help boost your memory, focus and concentration
- PDF booklet “30 Tips To Improve Your Memory”
- Price: $119.95
Text to Speech: This add-on uses high quality AT&T Natural voices to read training material aloud. It’s beneficial for reaching reading fluency or for multi-sensory learning. Price: $35.
Spanish Test Set: The tutor is currently available in English only. Spanish speaking users can purchase an add-on to get 260 comprehension tests (grades 1-12 & adult) translated into Spanish. Price: $19.95.
4. AceReader Elite Review: The Verdict
Stepware has created a very good software for all levels and ages. Compared to Deluxe, AceReader Elite 2015 (visit website) is way more feature packed and offers an improved learning experience. Companies, universities and government bodies around the world have chosen the program as their favorite tutor; amongst them are the Naval Academy, learning centers, k-12 colleges and thousands of individual users.
On the Pro site you will get unlimited user accounts, free of charge themed material and a great deal of additional material such as 625 hand-picked eBooks and the option to load even more of them.
One of the best things is their remarkable customer service. Whenever you have a question or need help you can email them or call their toll free hotline.
However, the program also comes with a few downsides and its biggest strength might be also the biggest weakness. Those expecting videos as the preferred way of learning need to cash in a whopping $50 to get access to the Iris program. 7SpeedReading, one of their competitors, already includes these tutorials for $79. The user interface might not suit everyone in regards to graphics and design. Nevertheless, the software is very a comprehensive and long-lasting tool to continuously increase your skills.
Apart from Windows 8 support, a Mac OS edition is available as well.
Update: We keep testing Elite and update our findings in this AceReader Elite Review. You may also compare Elite to other popular programs in this speed reading software review.
Further reading: Quick and casual tips on reading comprehension and speed – Providence College
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