Pass the TOEIC Test

Tips on Skimming and Scanning

In Part 7 of the TOEIC test, you need to read a series of short passages. Each passage is followed by between two and five questions that test your reading comprehension. To help you identify the correct answers, two skills you can use are skimming and scanning.

 

Download the TOEIC® Tips on Skimming and Scanning activity in PDF format.

 
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Skimming


What is skimming?

Skimming means reading a text quickly to understand the main ideas. For example, when you quickly look through a magazine to see what’s inside, or look through a menu in a restaurant to choose what to eat, you are skimming. Do not read every word – just focus on the key words that contain important information. Your goal is
to get an overall idea of what the passage is about.

 

How to skim a passage

  • Read the text quickly to get a general idea of the content.
  • Pick out any key words or phrases.
  • Ask yourself, What is the text about? Who is it written for? What is the purpose?

 

What NOT to do

  • Do not try to read every word.
  • Do not worry about words you don’t know.
  • Do not stop reading until you finish the passage.

 

Hint

You can often find information about the main idea of a text near the beginning or at the end of a passage.

 

 

Scanning

What is scanning?

Scanning means reading a text carefully to find specific information. For example, when you use a dictionary to look up the meaning of a word, or check what time your favorite program is on TV, you are scanning. Do not read every word – just focus on finding the details that you are looking for. Your goal is to find the information you need.


How to scan a passage

  • Before you begin, ask yourself, What information do I need to find?
  • Quickly identify the section of the text you need.
  • Read carefully and identify any key words or phrases.

 

What NOT to do

  • Do not try to read every word.
  • Do not worry about words you don’t know.
  • Do not keep reading after you have found the information you need.

 

Hint

You can sometimes use headings, titles, captions, diagrams, etc., in a text to help identify the section you need.