PTE Academic is a timed exam. Students are expected to read paragraphs of texts and answer several questions under timed conditions. An important strategy to use for all the sections of the exam, especially in the reading and writing section is skimming. By skimming the text and identifying the key ideas, tone and intent of the author students will save valuable time and can focus on answering the question instead of reading the text.
Skimming is gliding through the text to identify key ideas and to disregard irrelevant information.
To answer that question, let’s consider some strategies: always read the first sentence of the paragraph, this is the topic sentence and identifies what the paragraph will talk about. If you understand the first sentence well, move on to the next sentence. Now, in this sentence, identify the subject and the verb of the sentence. This will then further clarify what was stated in the first sentence. Continue to do this for the rest of the sentence in the paragraph. When you reach the last sentence, read that sentence because that is usually the concluding sentence and summarizes what the paragraph is talking about.
People have a right to know about those in power. In the case of politicians, the public should be aware of corruption or inappropriate behavior. The public also has a right to access the lives of celebrities, who generate revenue by making films, music, TV, sporting appearances or concerts, because their income is dependent on the general public.
By reading the first sentence, you know that the paragraph will talk about the rights of individuals to know about those in power. The second sentence talks about politicians, this exemplifies the phrase ‘those in power’ of the first sentence. The subject for the second sentence is ‘people’ and the verb phrase is ‘should be aware’. By reading this you know that this sentence is talking about the rights of people to be aware right away without having to finish reading the sentence. The third sentence further explains the concepts and provides specific examples.
From this paragraph, it is apparent that the key idea is in the first sentence, and the meaning of the entire paragraph can be summarized into: “People have a right to know about those in power, including politicians and celebrities.”
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