1.06 Skimming and Scanning

Hi everyone, in this lesson, I want to introduce two ideas, two skills that you’ll be using, define them and explain why they are helpful for the TOEFL. These two skills are skimming and scanning. They are very similar and are both ways to find information. 

More specifically, they are ways of finding information by reading without reading the entire text. You can always find information by reading the whole text, but this is very slow, especially for the TOEFL. Skimming and Scanning are ways to do it faster without reading all the words. 

When Skimming you’re going to go through all of the information in the text, and you’re going to try to find some, not specific, some general ideas. The main ideas of that long text. 

So you might, for example, look at the first paragraph, find the main idea. Then look at the second paragraph, find the main idea, etc. And I will talk more in a later lesson about how to do that. On the other hand, scanning is a little bit different. It’s not a summarization. It’s more finding specific information, finding details.

So in a way, skimming is about general ideas and scanning is about specifics. Okay, so if we are scanning, we look at the text and we don’t think about paragraph one and paragraph two like we did in skimming. We are just trying to find specific words or phrases. 

So scanning is really looking at individual words. It’s really helpful for the reading section. It’s important for most question types. And that’s it for skimming and scanning. We’ll talk more in future lessons.