PTE Reading Tips: The Importance of Skimming and Scanning

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PTE Reading Tips The Importance of Skimming and Scanning
PTE Reading Tips The Importance of Skimming and Scanning

Fluency in the English language can be a significant advantage for students who aspire to study or relocate abroad. However, those who are not so fluent in English do not need to be bogged down. One can hone their English speaking, writing and reading skills.


Candidates who wish to study abroad can take the PTE exam. The PTE exam or the Pearson Language Test (academic) is conducted annually to assess an applicant’s overall proficiency in the English Language. The exam primarily aims at gauging the candidates’  English speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. Partaking in the said exam can serve as a testament to the applicants’ English-speaking competency and can help students reassure the admission committee/ visa officers about their proficiency in the English Language  and insinuate that he/she will be able to represent their ideas and express themselves in front of an international audience.

Name of ExamPearson Test of English (PTE)
Conducting BodyPearson PLC Group 
Exam Duration2 hours 
Exam ModeComputer-Based Exam
Application FeeINR 14,700
SectionsSpeaking & Writing, Reading and Listening

The Importance of Skimming and Scanning

One of the primary issues faced by the students while preparing for the PTE exam is time management. Candidates often go blank while answering multiple-choice questions which ends up wasting time. During such situations, skimming and scanning can come in handy.


Skimming is the process of reading through the text quickly to get a general idea of the text. Skimming requires one to go through every word while attempting questions in the reading section. Implementing this process can help one save a lot of time because skimming requires one to ignore unnecessary data and quickly move over the text while retaining critical information. While implementing this technique, one must keep their eyes open and look out for crucial data, repeating words, and anything that can help one get a hang of what’s going on in the text. This can help one get a sense of the text and, as a result, answer the questions. One must always also look out for misleading information that can deceit the candidate from selecting the correct answer. 


Scanning is the process of reading through the text fast to find specific facts. This technique is typically used for identifying and detecting keywords from the answer options and locating them in the given text. While scanning, one has to ensure that they are searching for the keywords in the main text as well. Doing so can help one decide if the sentence has a similar meaning to the answer option. 

Also Read: How to Prepare for the PTE Exam

Tips to Implement Skimming and Scanning to Score Well

It is not uncommon for candidates to not be acquainted with the practice of skimming and scanning since it is not particularly taught during classroom learning. However, both skimming and scanning come in handy while attempting entrance exams. For candidates who are not very familiar with skimming and scanning, here are our few curated tips:

  • Identify the keywords beforehand so that you know what you are looking for.
  • Always read the surrounding material around the keyword to gain context of the text.
  • Try spotting the ‘preview’, ‘conclusion’ and ‘summary’ sections to get a brief overview of the text.
  • Jot down key pointers so that you can refer to them later.
  • Practice is the key to success. Candidates need to make skimming and scanning a habit so that it comes naturally to them and that is only possible when it is practised every day.
  • Candidates can try reading the first and last few lines of each paragraph to get a better idea of the text.
  • Candidates need not stop for unfamiliar words since the idea behind skimming and scanning is to get a general idea of the text. Further, the time crunch may not give you the luxury of going back and checking the meaning of words.


What is the validity of the PTE test scores?

PTE Academic exam scores have a validity of two years.  

How many times can I appear for the PTE Academic Exam?

Candidates may appear for the PTE exam as many times as they want. However, there needs to be a gap of a minimum of 5 days between the exams. 

Why are applicants required to partake in the PTE academic test? 

Aspirants prospecting to study or relocate abroad  (English-speaking countries) are required to partake in the said exam. This test is primarily conducted for evaluating the proficiency of candidates in the  English language (reading, writing, speaking, and listening capabilities). 

In this blog, we have covered the process of skimming and scanning and also provided candidates with some specific tips to learn or improve their performance in the PTE exam by implementing these practices. We hope this will help candidates ace the exam!

English language certifications are instrumental in securing admission to leading universities with high scores increasing your chances of admission. Build a plan with Leverage Edu‘s Leverage Live classes and our top trainers to get closer to a spot in your dream college. For any help with your PTE preparation or study abroad journey, you can reach out to us at 1800-572-000.

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