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Skimming and Scanning techniques for IELTS Reading.

IELTS Reading section tricks

Today we will talk about reading techniques for IELTS. IELTS reading section has 3 or 4 passage to read. First passage has daily routine words and sentences and you will be answering 7 or 8 questions about passage. And then the second passage you might be giving answers as true or false statements.

Third passage and the next passages will be more complicated. You will be answering questions like filling the gaps or understanding the main idea of paragraphs.

In total, you will be answering for 40 questions in 60 minutes. So, you have to be very quick and full concentrated to the passages. To reading fast, you have to use a few techniques.

What is Skimming technique?

Skimming is a method for understanding the main idea of a passage. The main purpose of skimming to understand the writer’s idea. That is why you do not have to read all the passage. You will only read the first sentence, the second sentence and the last two sentences of the paragraph. Because of all the paragraphs carry main ideas inside the first and last sentences.

So, we read the first a few sentences and last a few sentences. Afterwards, we will try to understand the passage. And then, we will go to questions for Scanning technique.

What is Scanning technique?

First of all, we did skimming to understand the main idea. Now, we will check the questions. In the questions, there will be some specific words to scan. We will catch these words and go to passage back to scan these words and their synonyms and antonyms.

For example:

Reading passage: Oxford university theatre course is starting in October 10th. All the students have to bring their id card who want to join this course. The course will finish in 4 months and after the course you will be certificated.


  1. When will the course start?
  2. What you need to join the course?
  3. When will the course finish?

For the first question, you have to scan this word ‘Start’. The second question, you will be scanning for ‘join’. And for the last question, you have to use the starting date to calculate.

Also, you have to think about synonyms and antonyms too. For instance; they might be using synonyms for ‘Join’ like attending the course, apply for the course. So, that is why you should think about synonyms and antonyms.

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Good Luck.

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