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  • Reading English is often OK if you've got plenty of time to do it.

  • But in a reading exam, it can seem as if time isn't on your side!

  • Here's examiner Mark Shea.

  • The way most reading exams work is that you have a lot of reading to do and very little time to do it.

  • Time is more important perhaps in reading than in any other paper.

  • So there's no time to waste in a reading exam.

  • But hopefully our top tips will not make your next exam feel like a sprint!

  • The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam.

  • Remember to do plenty of reading practice testspreferably in timed conditions.

  • And get feedback either from your teacher or by checking your answers with answer keys where possible.

  • When you do the real exam, begin by reading the instructions carefully so you know exactly what you're required to do.

  • One suggestion is to start with a reading section that you found easiest in the practice test.

  • Then you'll have time to focus on the sections you find most difficult.

  • Other people suggest the opposite.

  • You choose which way works for you.

  • Just don't spend too much time on any one sectionthe clock is ticking!

  • This is how one student approaches her reading exam.

  • When the paper come, I read first the questions.

  • I try to read the whole thing and try to construct how I answer those questions.

  • So it's a good idea to read the questions before you read the texts, so you know what to look for.

  • You could skim to find the main idea of a section of text or scan to find specific details such as key words, details, phrases or synonyms from the questions.

  • Attempt to answer all the questions as long as there is no penalty for an incorrect answer.

  • And make sure you leave some time at the end to check your answers.

  • Good luck!

Reading English is often OK if you've got plenty of time to do it.

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