Skimming in IELTS reading

In IELTS Reading candidates are not going to have enough time to read the whole text word per word that should not be applied in the testing time - and there are techniques that are useful to save time. There are certain steps need following.

When encountering the Reading passage, the skimming technique should be used to get the main idea of the text. With skimming, the essential target is to get the gist of the text; an overview of what is all about; an overview of its main ideas.

  1. Read the title! The title is extremely important because it provides information about the content of the text.
  2. Read the first paragraph very quickly without the need of understanding it in depth. The first paragraph will give you more information about the content but most importantly, reader will get connected with the text and the writer in terms of writing style, subject, opinions, expectations etc.
  3. Read and underline the first two lines of each paragraph: only the first two lines don’t keep on reading and don’t forget to underline! Usually, most writers mention the topic of the paragraph.
  4. Sub-headings and subtitles are important. They take the same purpose as the main title: they tell you the main theme of each paragraph. So, if they exist, do not overlook them.
  5. Read quickly and underline the last two lines of each paragraph. Sometimes writers put the main idea at the end of the paragraph.
  6. Read very quickly the last paragraph. Again, just read it rapidly just to get an idea - do not dwell on it word per word. The conclusion will give you the overall of the text.
  7. This is not exactly a step on itself but this is something you should do throughout while you follow the previous steps. When you catch a glimpse of uncommon words that are possibly terminology, you should better underline these words or phrases, especially if they are capitalized. Some of them, if they fall into the category of terminology, cannot be paraphrased and they can be your guide while you try to locate the answer to a question. It will also be helpful to underline the following when you come across them while you are skimming:

 Numbers, dates, percentages

 Key-words like: “the best”, “the most”, “the worst”, “the majority”, “the minority”, etc.

 Places, nationalities, countries, continents

 Repetitions and synonyms used in the same paragraph.

These are the steps you should follow in order to skim through a Reading text effectively. The more you practice skimming that way, the faster you will become and you will have time to focus on the questions and your answers.

 Source: Internet


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