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Use the right Reading skill for each part of the Reading test

By 25 March 2019Test Tips

OET requires you to match specific English language skills to the right activities and tasks. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the key skills needed to be successful at the Reading subtest.

Skimming, scanning and identifying meaning

Reading Parts A, B and C require different skills.

In Part A you need to use skimming and scanning skills while managing time pressure. In Part B you need to read for the gist and main points of each short text, while Part C requires you to read longer texts to understand the opinions and ideas provided.

It’s important you remember the need for different skills and avoid using the same ones in the next part. To be successful, you need to purposefully change the skill you’re using. You will also need to slow down or risk losing marks.

Choosing the right speed and changing your speed

Part A is separate from Parts B and C. There is a short gap while the invigilators collect in Part A and give out Parts B and C. During this time, consciously try to slow your brain down.

By the time you reach the end of Part A, you will be racing because it has been scanning texts to quickly find specific information. If you start Part B in top gear, there’s a high chance you will make a mistake on the first question as you will be reading it too quickly.

Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself silently to slow down. Remember, Parts B and C are not a speed test. You have 45 minutes to complete the questions, so take your time and focus on reading more carefully.

For more information about reading skills, take a look at our short guide.