April 25

PTE Academic Reading: The Importance Of Skimming


Since most PTE reading texts are around 300 words, 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. To add to this second language learners do not have sufficient language skills to be able to read such lengthy texts and answer in time. Their reading speed is simply not fast enough. To ensure that we answer all PTE reading questions, we need to read less and save time! Learning how to skim read during the reading task can help to significantly reduce the time it takes to complete certain reading questions.

Skimming is an ability which is a must in order to score well in the PTE reading section, especially for multiple choice and fill in the blanks questions In this article, we will learn more about skimming and why it is so important for the PTE academic reading module

What Is Skimming?

Skimming refers to the ability to go through a reading passage in order to get a general idea about it, without reading in detail. This helps one to quickly  understand the layout of the passage, which is useful for when you have to scan the text in order to locate specific information required for questions in the PTE reading test. It also helps you to understand the main ideas and overall tone of the passage, without wasting too much time on reading.

Why Is Being Able To Skim And Important Skill?

The ability to skim through a lengthy piece of text without reading in detail is actually an important tool in the world of academics. Being able to skim means that you are a flexible reader, who can quickly spot the important information within a text without spending too much time reading. Most PTE academic candidates take the exam to secure spots in tertiary education, where the ability to skim read through academic texts is crucial.

PTE Reading Test - Skimming Basic Steps

Start off by going through the first paragraph without reading the text in detail. The first paragraph of any reading passage connects us to the rest of the passage and gives us a connection to the writer and their views, so we need to spend a bit more time on this paragraph than we do the others.

The next step involves locating the topic sentences within each paragraph. Topic sentences are those sentences which give us the main idea of the main paragraph. You can usually find them at the beginning of a paragraph (the first two sentences). To skim each paragraph effectively, I recommend that you obtain the main idea of a paragraph from the topic sentence. Briefly go through the rest of the paragraph and look for words or phrases that confirm your main idea. You should also keep an eye out for unique words, like names, numbers and terminology that might be useful later when you are answering questions. Do not read every word.

Following these steps will help you to complete most reading tasks much quicker than before, and help you to improve the accuracy of your answers.


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