April 25

PTE Academic Reading – How Scanning Can Save You Precious Time


The reading section of the PTE exam is timed as a complete section instead of individually timed tasks. This means that time management is a crucial factor to scoring well in the PTE academic reading section. Most reading texts are around 300 words long and the questions take around 2 to 3 minutes to solve. This means that there is not always enough time to read the text in detail and then answer the questions, as you would for a typical reading comprehension passage. Second language learners do not have sufficient language skills. Their reading speed is not fast enough. We need to read less and save time! Learning how to scan for detail during the reading task can help to significantly reduce the time it takes to complete certain reading questions as well as improve the accuracy of your answers.

What Is Scanning?

Scanning involves searching for certain pieces of information without much further thought or understanding. This will be easier to do once you have predicted the type of answer you require and know what to keep a lookout for. This strategy is especially useful for reading multiple-choice questions.

How To Scan

You can use keywords from within a question (or answer options in the case of MCQs), and then try to locate those keywords or paraphrases of those keywords in the text.

There are different methods of scanning to find specific details, these include:

Method 1: use your finger to drift over each line from right to left without reading in detail. You will merely be looking for the important keywords that were mentioned for that particular question. over each line looking for the keyword. You don’t do it over the whole passage only for the paragraph in which you think your answer might be located

Method 2: Put your finger in the middle of the line. Move your finger straight down the middle of the paragraph. Let your eyes drift from right to left and left to right.

Try practicing both ways to see which method suits you best.

Once you have scanned the text and found the correct location for your answer, you can read it in detail. Try to understand that part of the text and confirm your answer.

To best prepare for the reading test, it would be best to enroll in a PTE course with an experienced PTE teacher. Make sure that the course you choose also has practice tests and questions that reflect the actual levels of the PTE exam.


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