Skim and Scan methods in IELTS Reading?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is an exam used to measure a person's level of English. It is comprised of four sections, one of which is reading. It is not only the reading section that makes use of the “Skim and Scan” technique; it is also used in the other modules. The reading section is designed to assess the accuracy of the test taker in a limited amount of time. By understanding and following the “Skim and Scan” method, it is possible to maximize one's score on the reading portion of the exam. This technique is well-known for being a reliable and efficient way to read effectively and quickly.


Skimming is when you very quickly look through a text looking for a general understanding of what it is about, how it is structured and how it is written. You are not looking for specific information, just an overview. A common time you may have used skimming skills is when you deciding to buy any story book or novel – you quickly look through to see if there is anything in there you may be interested in reading closely.


Scanning is the practice of rapidly searching through a text to locate a particular piece of information. It is most often used when looking for a specific fact, such as a name, location, things or date. For instance, when searching through a medical record for a particular disease name or medical regimen, one would likely be scanning the pages. Scanning is a quick and efficient way to locate the desired information without having to read through the entire text.


Go through all the questions and underline the key word/phrase.

Reading the title or glancing at the illustrations thoroughly is needed for skimming process.

Highlighting the context or word whenever finding the nearest wordfor scanning appropriately.

Then place the word or selection in the given space and verify if it is correct or not.

In order to maximize your chances of success on the IELTS, it is essential to make sure you are well-prepared. This means that you must dedicate sufficient time to practicing and studying the material. Taking IELTS mock tests, both online and offline, is a valuable way to gain experience with the test format and familiarize yourself with the types of questions you will be asked. Having a tutor or experienced friend to help guide you through the process can also be of great benefit in ensuring that you are well-equipped for the exam.

Note- By honing our skills and abilities through practising online, we can become proficient instead of making mistakes and having to learn from them. Engaging in online practice gives us the opportunity to perfect our technique and knowledge, so that when we actually apply it, we are confident and competent.

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