Skimming and Scanning Tips for OET Reading

Skimming and scanning are essential reading techniques that can help you quickly find relevant information in a text. Here are some tips to improve your skimming and scanning skills:

When to Use Skimming and Scanning Tips

Start by previewing the text: 

Understand the content by reading the title, headings, subheadings, and any highlighted or bolded text is beneficial.

Take a moment to read the first and last paragraphs: 

Usually, they offer an opening and a closing that helps you comprehend the text.

Pay attention to keywords and phrases: 

Look for words or phrases that relate to the topic or main ideas.

Move your eyes quickly over the text: 

Instead of reading every word, let your eyes move swiftly across the lines, stopping only at essential points.

Skimming is a useful technique if you want to grasp the main concept of a text quickly. When skimming, you read each paragraph’s title, headings, and first sentence.Identify important words by looking for bold or italicized text. Skimming helps to understand content and relevance quickly.

Scanning Skills

Is there a specific question or information to inquire about?

Scanning is helpful for specific details, such as names, dates, or keywords.

Use your finger or a pen: 

Place it on the page and move it quickly from left to right or top to bottom, guiding your eyes to locate the specific information you seek.

Look for visual cues: 

Numbers, bullet points, and bold or italicised text help you spot the desired information more easily.

Pay attention to headings, subheadings, and keywords: 

These can direct you to the relevant section or paragraph where the information might be located.

Practice with timed exercises: 

Set a timer and practice scanning for specific information within a given time frame to improve your speed and accuracy.

When scanning, you look for specific words or phrases. Use the scanning method to quickly find specific information by reading each paragraph’s first and last sentence or scanning vertically for keywords.

Here are some tips for skimming and scanning:

Read the title and headings. Look for bold/italicized words, headings, or titles, then search for what you need.

When skimming and scanning, you aim to get the main idea or find specific information. With practice, you can learn to skim and scan quickly and efficiently. These skills can help you save time when reading and help you to be a more effective reader.

Here are some additional tips for skimming and scanning:

Use a timer. Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much of a text you can skim or scan in that time.

Practice with different types of texts. Practice skimming and scanning different texts, such as news articles, textbooks, and novels.

Get feedback. Consider asking a friend or family member to provide feedback to improve your skimming and scanning skills.

You can get better at reading faster by using skimming and scanning techniques.

Summary of the key points

  • Skim texts to quickly grasp the main idea without losing important details or altering its meaning.
  • Scanning is a method of searching more precisely for particular information in a text.
  • To skim effectively, read the title, headings, and first sentence of each paragraph.
  • When scanning, look for specific words or phrases.
  • Don’t worry about understanding every detail when skimming or scanning.
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