Below you will find my tips for each part of the reading paper.  Download a practice test and try them out!

Part 1

  1. Read the title and subtitle, then look at any pictures to get a general idea of the subject of the piece.  The text will come from a newspaper or magazine article, a short story or a novel.
  2. Before you read the piece, turn to the next page a look at the questions.  Just read the questions and not the answers A-D.  Underline the important part of the question, this will help you remember why you are reading.
  3. Now look at question 1 and start reading the text.  When you reach the part of the text that answers question 1, read that part of the text again carefully and choose your answer before looking at the answer choices you are given.  Choose the answer that is closest to your own answer.
  4. All of the questions will be answered in order (the answer to question 1 is before the answer to question 2, etc.).  The answers will be supported in the text.  Do not use your general impression, find the words in the text that say the answer.

Part 2

  1. Read the title and look at any pictures to give yourself a general idea of the subject, it will come from a newspaper or magazine article.
  2. Read the article quickly. Try and remember the general topic of each paragraph, but also circle or underline “anchor words” (logical connecting words, pronouns, and time clauses).  A word like “so” indicates a logical progression–look for a reason something happened; “these” refers to something in a previous paragraph–find them; “afterwards” refers to a progression of time–what happened before?
  3. Read the sentences to be inserted in the text. Notice the content, but again, pay attention to the “anchor words”.
  4. Now look again at the text and match the sentences with the topic but also be sure the “anchor words” connect with sentences before and after them.
  5. Relax and answer the easy questions first!  Some are more difficult so eliminate the sentences which go in other spaces.
  6. If the last sentence doesn’t seem to be correct, take a minute to check your other answers.  One of them may also be wrong and you don’t want to miss two questions.

Part 3

  1. Quickly look at the title and look at any pictures to give yourself a general idea of the subject of the piece, but don’t read the text until you have analysed the questions.  The text will come from a newspaper or magazine article.
  2. Read the questions carefully and underline the key expressions in each one to help focus your mind on what you are reading for.
  3. Try and remember these key expressions as you read the text at a reasonably fast pace.  Some of the answers will be obvious as you read, fill in your answer sheet as you go along.
  4. Be careful that your answers match all of the information in the question.  Sometimes the question will be looking for more than just one criteria so you need to be careful.
  5. Go back to the unanswered questions, look at the key expressions you underlined and try to remember which area of the text had material related to them. When you are scanning the text, try to keep several questions in mind at once to make more efficient use of your time.