Like many of you, as you've read and replied to stories posted @ Medium - Yabberz, I'm sure you've noticed Medium calculates the amount of time it takes to read posted material. For my latest story posted there it calculates that my story is a 4 minute read. Thinking that seemed a little bit fast (or that I'm a painstakingly slow reader, much slower than I thought) for a writing of my own which I guessed had to be around a 1000 words in length, I got curious about how to count words per line in their format. I started to do the basic word count by averaging words per line, but that would take too long, I'm not going to do that, so I took to the web.
Research. Don't you love it?
First thing I looked up was "how many words per minute does the average person read" and I came across this site that told me they had a test --for that. I took the test and it said that I read at a rate of 168 wpm, which is slower than I thought I would do, but the test article they used was full of detailed info' so I had to slow down to take the information in. Good thing I slowed down because when I click the link for my results they had a second part to the test. It was to see how much of the information I read had I actually retained. With this I astonished myself, I guess I am still good at taking test, because I got an "A", getting 90% of the questions right.
Anyway, 168 wpm falls within the average rate for college students and professionals, but not good enough for "competitive reading". Turns out, according to their study, the average college student or professional reads between 150 and 300 words per minute. Competitive readers however, they read more than 500 per minute (wow).
With that information in hand I went back and did an average of the words I wrote on Medium per line. I did this using a new to me way of averaging words per line I gleaned from another site. It said to pick 10 sentences which seem to have the most words, which they didn't say short words, but that is what I did, using their method I average those 10 lines and then I multiplied it times the written lines in my story. My average words per line was 14.7 times 81 totaled lines. Which means the length of my story is roughly 1190 words.
Rounding my story length off to 1200 words and dividing it by 4 minutes estimated read time, according to Medium's read-ometer, means 300 words per minute is the average speed at which visitors to their site are assumed to read.