The Skimming and Scanning Reading Comprehension Technique
STEP 1. Read the instructions, underlining key words. Spot the beginning and the end of the text. Read the questions, underlining key words. (Don’t stop if you don’t understand a word.)
STEP 2. Time yourself. SKIM the text: read everything (titles included) very fast to activate your background knowledge. Time your skimming. It’ll be very little time.
STEP 3. Time yourself. SCANNING 1. Read everything carefully. Try to understand as much as you can. If you get stuck, move on. As you read (e.g. after each paragraph), have a quick look at the key words in your questions, to find out if there is any question that can be answered in what you (have) just read /red/. Write the number of the question in the margin of where the answer is.
STEP 4. Answer the easy questions, to make sure you have some points there! Don’t answer the questions you are not positive/totally sure about! (Be patient.)
STEP 5. Time yourself. SCANNING 2. Read everything again, carefully but you’ll be faster in the areas where you just need to doublecheck. You’ll take longer in the areas where you had more trouble, but that’s ok. You’ve still got time. Don’t panic! Focus on the task! 🙂
STEP 6. Answer the rest of the questions. And doublecheck the new answers.
If the text was easy for you, you should use the Scanning 2 to doublecheck all of your answers. Don’t be arrogant and do so!
If the text was hard for you, or hard in parts, you should use the Second Scanning to find the answers, and you might want to underline key words, too, to make things easier.
Congratulations! you are learning to be an effective problem-solver!