Welcome to the fourth video of the Super PTE Learning System.
In this video we will look at the fourth very important parameter for the PTE Software.
And, we will see how to do well on that parameter.
This parameter is:
The PTE Software wants to see that you know how to read smartly.
That is, it wants to see if you can:
Find information in the text
Understand how different parts of the text relate to each other
and understand the main points in the text
I am going to explain each part and tell you ways you convince the PTE Software that you are good at Smart Reading!
As you know the reading section is made up of:
Fill in the blanks
Multiple choice questions
and, Re-order questions
In all questions you have to read a text and do as instructed.
The way you read the text, makes all the difference.
A lot of people end up spending a lot of time reading the passages but still are not able to find the information needed.
That is because they just don’t know how to read smartly!
To make sure that you can read and find the information needed, you need to practice and perfect two reading techniques.
Let’s first look at Skimming.
Skimming means to quickly go through a text.
The idea is:
if you can quickly read a text, you will come to know how it is structured, what the different parts of the text are, etc.
It will give you an overall understanding of what the text is about.
This helps with two things:
Answer questions which need you to tell your opinion
or, give an answer based on the whole text.
It tells you which paragraph contains what kind of information.
This later helps you find specific information by concentrating just on that particular paragraph.
To skim, you don’t need to read everything.
Read first sentences of the paragraphs.
As soon as an example or a detailed explanation of something starts, move on.
Make a note of important details such as dates, events, people, places anywhere.
Here’s an example:
Skim through this text quickly and tell me what the text is about.
Rome is considered as one of the birth places of the modern democracy. While the ideas have flourished in various forms at many different place, all around the globe, it is Rome that is credited with giving birth to democracy as we see it in the present day world.
It did not happen in a single day, but rather was a gradual progression from the advent of initial ideas to finally setting up the republic in Rome in 509 B.C. It took several more years and was not before 479 B.C. that ideas were firmly rooted.
Did you get it?
The main idea of the text is:
Democracy in ancient Rome.
We got that by just looking at the first sentences and noting keywords like Rome, democracy, etc.
So, this was the first part of your Smart Reading.
Now, we will look at Scanning.
Scanning is about finding specific information.
If for example, there was a question following the text we just read:
In which year was the Roman Republic established?
From your skimming you know that democracy years are discussed in second paragraph.
So, you quickly just go there.
And then search for dates and democracy.
You will not always find exact words match.
Look for synonyms too.
When you find it, that’s your answer!
The answer was 509 B.C.
So, that was the scanning technique.
You must get very comfortable Skimming and Scanning.
This is the only way to read texts for PTE Academic.
Don’t just read plainly.
You are not reading for fun.
Change your mindset.
You are always reading to find information.
When you have that in mind, you will always use the skimming and scanning techniques.
Now, let’s go to the next part of what makes up Smart Reading.
Can you understand how sentences are linked to each other?
If you can understand the relationship between sentences, this will help you with re-order paragraphs.
Every sentence contains a link to the previous sentence.
If you remember this golden rule, you will have no problem understanding how a text is organized.
What are these links?
Let’s look at the most important ones.
First one is:
Noun and Pronoun
Sentence B has a pronoun which refers to a noun in Sentence A.
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on moon. He was a US astronaut.
If we look at the Sentence B “He was a US astronaut.”, He refers to Neil Armstrong in Sentence A.
So that is a link!
Second one is:
Time period reference
Sentence B mentions an event relative to a time period in Sentence A.
Dinosaurs existed on Earth a million years ago. Since then, there have been no animals that huge.
Sentence B has “Since then”, which refers to “million years ago” in Sentence A.
Third linkage is:
Elaborate on a previous idea
Sentence B gives more information about something introduced in Sentence A.
This is my favorite book. The book has sold more than a million copies.
Sentence A introduces “my favorite book” and Sentence B tells more about it, which is “it has sold more than a million copies.”
Keep these three things in mind and you will almost always know what order to arrange the sentences and paragraphs in.
Now the last thing you need to learn is:
Understanding from context.
This is very helpful, especially in the fill in the blanks questions.
If you can understand the context of a sentence, you can guess the word missing in the sentence.
For this you need to get into the habit of asking questions when reading.
The lunch was very __________.
Lunch is a thing.
Ask yourself questions like “What can the lunch be…?”
When you have a thing.
The thing either does something.
Or the sentence tells us a quality of that thing.
In our case, lunch cannot do anything.
So, the blank word must be a quality of lunch.
For example, delicious.
So, don’t just read.
Engage with what you are reading.
Ask yourself questions related to the context in which you are reading.
Make this a habit and you will have no problems finding missing information in a text!
So, that is Smart Reading for you.
From now onwards, at least till your exam day, you will not read anything.
You will only Smart Read.
Make sure, you practice the things we have discussed.
There is no point just listening and not putting things into practice.
If you don’t follow these rules, you will not get results.
All the best!
I will see you in the next video of the Super PTE Learning System!
- Practice the technique of skimming.
- Practice the technique of scanning.
- Remember how sentences are linked to each other. This will help you do better at the reorder paragraphs.
- For fill in the blanks, learn to ask questions based on the context in which the blanks appear. If you understand the context, you can guess what words should go into the blanks.
- Do your reading practice keeping these techniques in mind.