Reading

Task 

Description

Skills tested

Paragraph headings

The task is to match headings to the appropriate paragraph (6 paragraphs and 8 headings)

understanding global information

Scan Reading

The task is to match statements to section of 4 texts (4 texts and 8 statements)

scanning for specific information

Multiple-Choice Reading

The task is to answer six multiple-choice comprehension questions after reading a text

detailed comprehension, overall understanding

 

Preparing Students for the Reading Test

Encouraging students to read regularly will contribute positively to their ability to complete the reading section successfully. The candidate will encounter a wide variety of texts, in terms of length and style, and feeling comfortable with such a variety is essential.

Understanding the overall meaning of a text or a part of a text is an important reading skill, and that’s what Task 1 (Paragraph Headings) focuses on. Tasks of this type can be found in many coursebooks, and are useful in developing this skill.

In the second task (Long Text), the candidate needs to be able to cope with a text of substantial length, so having well-practised extensive reading skills is important: the ability to survey a text, to get a sense of how it is organised and where the various information is located, are essential subskills that the student needs to develop. In preparing students, the teacher should get them working with texts of a similar length as those in the exam; many magazine and newspaper articles are suitable in terms of length as well as style. The information needed to answer a given question is often located in one part of the article, i.e. a complete thorough reading is not required, though a general understanding is important. The teacher should explore the process of completing this kind of task with students, getting them to discuss the strategies they use that are effective, as well as the mistakes they make in terms of approach.

Task 3 (Multiple-Choice) focuses on the candidate’s ability to understand more complex texts, grasp overall meaning, writer’s mood or intention, as well as the precise details of a particular section.