Reading is one of the toughest sections of the test, and probably the most common complaint about it is not being able to finish in time. A lot of times you can answer the questions correctly if you just had more time, but the clock stops and you are scrambling to fill in the answers.
Accelerated reading can help you speed up your reading (as well as improve your listening skills) by forcing you to read faster. The basic idea is that the audio will push you to read faster and your brain will get used to identifying and reading the kanji and kana faster.
If you don’t have a recording of particular reading that you want to do this with you can always head over to Rhino Spike where a volunteer will read it out for you or you can get your conversation partner/tutor/teacher to read it out for you into a smart phone and do it that way.
I’ve just started to use accelerated reading to improve my reading skills. I don’t do it too often, but for some challenging reading passages, it can really help out.
1) Find some appropriate level listening material with a script and listen to it one time while following along with the script.
2) Repeat step 1 until you are fairly comfortable with the sounds and can read at that pace. (This may just be one time.)
3) Speed up the tempo of the piece with Audacity by 10% (or more if you want a challenge).
4) Listen to the piece again and try to follow along with the script. Make sure you are able to read at that pace.
5) Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you can’t keep up, you need a break, or your brain starts to ‘fog’.
6) Try to read through the piece one more time as fast as you can. Pay attention to each word and make sure you are comprehending the piece not just blindly reading.