Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Today you will learn the how’s and why’s of the IELTS Reading strategy of skimming.

We must ‘warm up’ our brain, as it were, so we can understand the questions more readily.

If you go straight to the questions without skimming, you will end up reading them more than once before you understand what they’re talking about.

That will eat up valuable minutes that you cannot waste on the Reading Exam.



How do you skim?

There are two options. Try them both and see what works best for you.

  • Option 1: Underline Everything
    • Using your pen, underline the whole first two lines of each paragraph. This helps you to focus on what you are reading.
    • If the paragraph is really long, you can read the first 3 lines.


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  • Option 2: Underline Keywords
    • Keep in mind the purpose of skimming- it’s just to get the gist, or main idea, of the passage.
    • Therefore, there are no wrong keywords to underline. Just underline the words that carry the most important information for you, usually nouns and verbs.

You can practice both of these options with an article from a newspaper.

Skim the article, write down what you remember, and then read the article in detail and check your comprehension.

In our online IELTS course, 3 Keys IELTS, we give you all the strategies and practice you need to score highly on all parts of the IELTS exam.

What do you think of today’s advice?

Leave us a message in the comments section below!

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