At WELCOME TO ENGLISH! , some of our students are taking FIRST CERTIFICATE and CAE exams next December. That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to give you all some tips and this time for how to deal with reading comprehension.
The reading comprehension is considered to be the easiest part of these Cambridge exams, but don’t get to cozy (relaxed) because this is extensive reading that assesses different reading skills in a given period of time (1h 30 min).
THE FIRST SKILL that you have to handle is SKIMMING and this is the kind of reading that you use to get the GIST of the text (the main idea).To do this reading efficient it is important not to read the text in detail.
THE SECOND SKILL is SCANNING, which is the type of reading that you use to find very specific information e.g. dates, names, figures, etc.To scan properly, you mustn’t read everything but just look for the required information. It’s like looking for a number in a telephone directory.
THE THIRD TYPE of reading that is assessed is REDING FOR DETAIL and as its name indicates, this means reading to find out precise information about particular points.
THE FOURTH SKILL that you must master is GUESSING THE MEANING OF WORDS FROM CONTEXT. You’re always going to find words that you won’t understand. Don’t panic! It’s not that important to understand every single word. Just try to use the previous sentence and the next to work out the meaning of that word.
THE FIFTH AND THE LAST READING SKILL is INFERENCE. If writers gave too much detail, it would be really boring for the reader and they wouldn’t be required to make any mental effort. That’s why they give clues and leave the reader to deduce their real message. It’s very important, however, to find the clues in the text, not to guess or invent the answer.
Hope you put this into practice and GOOD LUCK to all of you who are taking these exams.