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Using “Skimming” In The TOEFL Exam
What (Exactly) To Do

TOEFL Reading Section

“Every Section, Question, & Task in The TOEFL Exam tests for specific abilities.  Knowing what these abilities are, before-hand, will help you to test BETTER than if you went in blindly — not knowing what exactly they are asking for.”

~ "The Teacher"

Notice!  —  There is one Task-Type in The Reading Section where-in the advice of reading the first sentence CAN help.  And that is with the Chart-Completion Task.  But you will be able to utilize this technique when you get to that Task.  Not BEFORE doing any of the other questions.  😎

When The Reading Passage First Appears On Your Computer Screen

  • *Make Note Of The Title Of The Text  —  It will almost always clearly define The Main Idea of the entire Reading Passage
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  • Quickly Read The Entire First Paragraph  —  But do NOT bother to read every single word.  Train yourself to skip-over things like Articles, and Prepositions.  They are usually no-more-than a few letters long — so with practice, your brain will learn to “read” those words as “symbols” and know the meaning — just as the brain knows that the symbol “&” represents the word:  “and”.
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  • Skim The Following Paragraphs  —  For confirmation and further information about the Supporting Details.  But, do NOT read the whole thing!!!  Just “Scan” For Key Words about the Details, and notice any transitional or contrasting words & phrases, like:  “However”“Despite”“Furthermore”“As A Result”, & “For Example”.  These types of words & phrases will almost certainly be important indicators for some Question-Types — but do NOT spend much time on them!  Just note them in your mind for later.
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  • Quickly Read The Entire Final Paragraph  —  But do this in the same way that you did with the first paragraph.  The difference between the two is that the final paragraph will make reference to any contrasting information — and will usually confirm the supporting details — giving clues about the development of information from the beginning to the end of The Reading Passage
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  • Make Absolutely Sure That You Do NOT Spend Any More Than One Minute Doing This!  —  You will not need more because (as stated before) all of the different Question-Types will show the paragraph in-question, and will make direct reference to the specific word or sentence in-question.

It is almost always stated in other text-books, and in various different videos that people make about The TOEFL Exam — that one should take notes.  This is a very good idea whenever one is listening to any audio file throughout the exam — but for The Reading Section — to take notes on The Reading Passage is almost DEFINITELY A Complete Waste Of Time.  Not only will there not be enough time to read, take notes, AND answer The Questions & fulfill the Tasks — but — it is almost certain that you will not even use the notes.  They will NOT be useful, and will most-likely be forgotten in the process of answering The Questions & fulfilling The Tasks.  So…
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DO NOT EVEN BOTHER TAKING NOTES ON THE READING SECTION OF THE TOEFL EXAM!!!

Summary

How, EXACTLY, To Skim For The TOEFL...

So, as you can see — the typical advice about how to Skim a text is NOT really the best advice for The TOEFL Exam…  I bet you’re glad that you found this course, huh?!  😎

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