The goal of reading is to get comprehension from what you read. Reading is one of the four skills that are being assessed in the GCSE Malaysia examination.
However, reading skill is not only important for examination assessment. In fact, it is a skill that people use all the time for work and for daily life.
Exceptional reading skill leads to effective written communication which results to less miscommunication can misunderstanding. Therefore, it is an important skill for everyone to master.
How To Improve Reading Skill?
But, how do you improve your reading skill? There are many ways you can do to enhance your ability in reading and at the same time understand what you are reading. The following tips might be helpful to further develop it.
1. Set Some Times To Read
To develop reading skills, you need to spend some time reading. Set aside around 15 minutes minimum to read English materials.
The materials you read can be just about anything - fiction, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets, dictionaries or even cereal boxes. Read things that interest you too to encourage yourself to keep on reading.
2. Enhance Your Vocabulary
Try to read as much English material as you can to enhance your vocabulary. Re-read the materials a couple more times.
Take note of new words you found. Familiarise with the use of the words in real sentences and expressions. Learn how to put the words in your casual conversation.
3. Increase Your Reading Speed
In just about any English language subject examination including GCSE, you have to read a number of short or long texts to find answers. Therefore, you have to improve your reading speed.
In order to do that, you got to practise reading fast. However, reading fast means nothing if you can’t understand the passage that you are reading. Here are some tips for how to read faster and still understand what you read.
- Preview The Text
Previewing the whole text before reading prepares you to get an understanding of what you are about to read. Skim the text from start to end.
Take note of the introduction and conclusion paragraphs. Pay attention to any heading, subheading, bulleted points, italic and bold words.
- Set Your Goal
Get to know what do you want to obtain by reading the text. Come up with a couple of questions before you start reading.
Look for the answers to your questions in the passage. Along the way, notice the main idea and the direction of the text.
- Stop Subvocalizing
Subvocalizing involves speaking the words you are reading in your head. It is one of the factors in slowing down our reading. The truth is, our eyes and brain can process words much faster by stopping the voice in our head while reading.
The easiest way to minimize subvocalizing is by distracting yourself and be conscious of it. Use your fingers to guide your eyes while reading. Or you can try chew gum or even listen to music while reading.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
There is nothing important than practice. The more you practice reading fast, the better you will be at it. Remember, practice makes perfect.
If you still have doubts about practising on your own, it is always good to have a tutor to guide you. You can either look for an English tutor near you or search for an experienced English tutor online.
Finding a tutor is much easier these days with the advancement of the internet. Everything is at your fingertips.
You can simply seek your English tutor through online tutoring websites such as Superprof. Superprof is a reputable tutoring website that offers more than 16 million tutors available worldwide.
The best thing is, you can choose to have a physical face to face tutoring session or you can opt for an online learning session. The online learning session can be done over Google Hangout, Skype, Zoom or any other remote communication tools.
After all, opting for online learning will actually cost you less compared to traditional physical classes. The fee for an hour of an online class by Superprof tutors can go as low as RM20 per hour and the first 1 hour is usually free!
Take the opportunity to prepare for your IGCSE English test from the comfort of your home. You can also discuss with your tutor what time suits the availability of both parties. It can be done just about anytime - in the morning, in between lunchtime, later in the evening or on weekend.
How To Pass Reading Test For English IGCSE Exam?
You probably have been prepared months before stepping into the examination hall. But you still got that doubt when you start opening the test paper. So here are some last-minute tips that you can make use of during the exam day.
1. Read The Insert Instruction
It is always important to read the insert instruction even you have read them so many times. The insert instructions are where you get the full information about the paper you are about to take.
In this section, you will get the idea of how many questions are available in the paper, how many questions you need to answer, where do you need to put your answer and the duration of the test.
2. Skim The Text
Once you are allowed to start your exam, skim the first text and get some idea of what it is about. Skimming means you just simply glance through the text to find out what the passage is about, what kind of text is it and look put for the main idea of each paragraph.
3. Read And Understand The Questions
Next, read the questions one by one. Understand what the questions want and underline the keywords.
The keywords are usually nouns and verbs. Read the questions thoroughly because sometimes they can be a little bit confusing.
4. Scanning For Answer
Now it is time for you to find the answer. To find the answer, you have to locate the keywords that you already underline in the questions.
This time around, you have to scan the whole passage to find your answer. For the first question, it is common that the answers could be found in chronological order within the text. So, it is easier to find the answer.
Some questions are very specific so the answers are easy to be found. But some other might be quite tricky. The questions might also use synonyms just to make you confuse. So level up your vocabulary.
5. Write The Answer
When you find the answer, put them in the appropriate answering space according to the insert instruction. Remember, the answers are already in the passage. You don’t have to come up with your own answers.
It is okay to directly copy word by word from the passage for your answer. After all, this is a reading exercise, not writing. As long as the answer is correct, you have nothing else to be worried about.
What Is The Best Strategy For Reading Exam?
Here are some other strategies you can implement for your reading comprehension examination preparation and when you practice your reading skills. Make use of all of these tips and you will be all good.
1. Get Used To The Exam Paper Format
Each English exam usually has its own paper format. For GCSE English reading paper, candidates have to answer by responding to the given texts through short answers, note-making and summary writing.
Although the reading paper mostly focuses on reading skills, there is one of the questions that you need to master writing too - the summary question. The summary question assesses both reading and writing skills.
You can check out some Form 1 English exam papers with answer Malaysia resources for your reference on how to prepare writing academic essay example. There is also Form 2 English exam paper essay examples you can look for from these resources. However, do take note that the exam paper structure is different from IGCSE paper.
2. Make Use Of Context Clues
You practised reading, improve your vocabulary and all that. But on the day of the exam, you come across unfamiliar words and you don’t know the meaning. Don’t get upset. Instead, try to find some context from the sentences.
Focus on the key phrase or ideas in the sentences. Try to look out the main ideas of the sentences or the paragraph based on the information you get.
3. Manage Your Time
One of the common problems that students faced during an examination is running out of time. So it is crucial for you to manage your time properly during the exam. You need to keep your eye on the clock.
The best way to avoid this is to make a timed practice paper as part of your revision. Time yourself answering past exam questions. And you will see improvement in no time.
Reading examination is not as hard as other papers such as academic essay, listening and speaking tests. This paper should contribute the highest mark to your overall mark. However, you need to make sure to avoid careless mistakes.
Make use of all the tips and strategies we have written in this article and you will be sure to be prepared for your English IGCSE examination. Good luck!
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