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Английский язык > BBC Learning English > Exam skills: 6 tips to help you with reading exams

Rob 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

Mark Shea, Examiner 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.

Rob 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 familiaris­e 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 a reading exam

Student 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.

Rob 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!

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