skimming and scanning
If the passage is very long and the time is running out, don’t waste more time on trying to crack every word in the passage. You don’t have to understand every word in order to understand the passage. Also, you don’t have to understand every word in order to complete the CU-TEP test. You can skim and scan.
Of course, reading the passage thoroughly guarantee that you won’t miss anything but it’s not necessary. Skimming technique means to read the passage only for the main idea. You read the first paragraph, the last paragraph, and the first sentence of each paragraph then you’ll know what that passage is about. This technique should be used before you start reading the questions.
After reading the questions, use the scanning technique, which means identify a keyword or a key phrase from the questions and choices, and then scan for that keyword or key phrase in the passage.
How to identify keyword
A keyword should be something that appears only one place in the passage. They mostly are numbers, date, time, year, people’s name, or place. These are easy. However there are other types of questions such as a question asking for an objective.
You may be asked What is the purpose behind Someone’s action? In this case, the keyword is ‘purpose’ but the test won’t give out score so easily. You also should look for the synonyms of that word. Purpose, intention, and objective are synonyms. You should look for word in other forms like verbs; ‘meant to’, ‘hoping that’, ‘thinking’, or ‘trying to’.
Here are some examples.
- According to the passage, the new skyscrapers built at the beginning of the twentieth century were ……
Other than the keyword itself, you should look for ‘buildings’ or ‘1900-1930’.
- The passage indicates that during the colonial period, money was …….
- Which of the following is NOT mentioned in the passage as a substitute for money during the colonial period?
|(A) Wampum||(C) Tobacco|
|(B) Cotton||(D) Beaver furs|
The keyword may be ‘replace’, ‘instead of’ and most likely all of the four choices. One of them shouldn’t be mentioned in the text or at least not as a substitution of money. Look for those four words and read the surrounding sentences.
If you really don’t have time, you don’t have to skim the text before reading the questions. But if you do have time, skimming first allows you to know the organization of the passage thus where to scan the keywords.
Visit the link given below to hear what BBC has to say with skimming and scanning technique. The accent in the introduction video is quite difficult to understand but the main idea is that ‘Speed read or skim text to get the gist. Scan text to find a specific piece of information’. This technique can be used in any level, education or working.
Check this out : http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/topic/skimming-and-scanning
After watching the video, try on the exercises provided. Start with Entry 1&2 if you have never try skimming and scanning. If you have, start with the higher level so it will be challenging.