CRACKING THE TOEFL READING SECTION: SKIMMING THE PASSAGE
- 1 page-long reading article on an academic topic (history, science, the arts, philosophy)
- 13-14 corresponding questions
- 20 minutes to read the passage and answer all questions
- Read only the first two or three sentences of the first paragraph and the first and last sentences of each paragraph after that. Move quickly across the words as you read them – do not be tempted to read the passage word for word.
- Take note of key words. As you skim each TOEFL reading article, you will probably notice words that are repeated or words that are synonymous with the main idea of the passage as a whole. Taking note of key words, which are words that define the topic and supporting points of the passage, is crucial on the TOEFL. More than likely, questions that follow will ask specifically about key words and if you have an idea of where they are in the passage, you will be able to answer the questions faster.
- Don’t be afraid to take notes. Overall, taking brief notes on a reading passage can be very helpful because it will give you an idea of where to find specific bits of information in each passage. Sometimes, it might even be useful to give each paragraph a word or phrase that best summarizes its main idea. Keep in mind that all note-taking will have to be on a separate piece of paper because the TOEFL iBt is now given on a computer.
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