Scanning involves finding information quickly. Most of us use this skill in our everyday life such as when we look up a word in the dictionary or are looking at the start time of a movie. We can use this skill in IELTS to find the answer to a question. To do this we look at a question, note keywords in the question, and scan the text strategically for answers. We can also use the information we get from skimming an article to narrow down where we should start looking so that we do not have to scan the entire article. Also, since answers usually occur sequentially, the question order also helps us decide where to start looking.

 Scanning Approach
1.Read a question and choose keywords to scan for.
2.Use your knowledge from skimming to establish where in the text to start looking.
3.Locate the keyword and read the surrounding text carefully to see if the answer is located here.
4.Check your answer fits this question.

The easiest things to scan for are:
¨ Symbols: $  %
¨ Numbers: 1996, 21st January, 800kg, and 5 million.
¨ Capital letters: names of people, places, cities, countries, companies.

Reading Skills

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