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PTE reading: active reading techniques for better comprehension

The PTE Reading section requires not only good reading skills but also active engagement with the text to achieve a high score. Active reading involves employing specific techniques to enhance comprehension, analyze the text effectively, and answer questions accurately. In this blog, we will explore valuable strategies and tips to help you become an active reader and improve your performance in the PTE Reading section.

Preview the Text:

Before diving into the passage, take a few moments to preview it. Read the title, headings, subheadings, and any introductory paragraphs. This preview provides you with an overview of the topic and helps set the context, enabling you to anticipate what the passage may discuss.

Skim the Passage:

Skimming involves quickly glancing through the passage to get a sense of its structure, main ideas, and supporting details. Pay attention to the first and last sentence of each paragraph, topic sentences, and any highlighted or bolded text. Skimming helps you identify the organization of the passage and provides a foundation for better comprehension.

Highlight Keywords and Key Phrases:

While reading the passage, use a highlighter or underline key keywords and phrases. These are typically significant words or phrases that convey the main ideas, arguments, or supporting evidence. Highlighting helps you focus on essential information and facilitates quick retrieval of relevant details when answering questions.

Take Effective Notes:

As you read, take notes on important points, main ideas, and supporting details. Use abbreviations, symbols, or keywords to capture key information efficiently. Note-taking helps you actively engage with the text, summarize key concepts, and retain information for later reference when answering questions.

Identify the Purpose and Tone:

Pay attention to the author's purpose and the overall tone of the passage. Determine whether the author's intention is to inform, persuade, argue, or entertain. Identifying the purpose and tone allows you to grasp the underlying message, evaluate the author's perspective, and interpret the text more effectively.

Practice Time Management:

In the PTE Reading section, time management is crucial. Each passage has a set time limit, so allocate your time wisely. Aim to read and comprehend the passage efficiently without spending too much time on any one section. Regular practice will help you improve your reading speed and accuracy.

Engage with the Text:

Stay actively engaged with the passage as you read. Ask yourself questions about the content, make predictions, and relate the information to your prior knowledge or experiences. Actively engaging with the text helps you make connections, understand complex ideas, and retain information for later use.

Analyze the Structure and Organization:

Pay attention to the structure and organization of the passage. Identify the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Notice any transitions, cause-and-effect relationships, comparisons, or contrasts. Analyzing the structure helps you understand the logical flow of the text and assists in answering questions related to the passage's organization.

Read for Detail:

While skimming and scanning are important, also focus on reading for detail. Take your time to comprehend specific details, examples, or explanations provided in the passage. Careful reading ensures a thorough understanding of the text, allowing you to answer questions that require close analysis.

Practice Active Reading:

Regularly practice active reading techniques by working with a variety of texts. Incorporate fiction, non-fiction, academic articles, and other relevant materials into your reading practice. This exposure to different genres and writing styles enhances your ability to adapt to various reading passages in the PTE Reading section.


Active reading is a crucial skill for success in the PTE Reading section. By employing strategies such as previewing the text, skimming, highlighting keywords, taking effective notes, identifying the purpose and tone, practicing time management, engaging with the text, analyzing the structure, reading for detail, and consistently practicing active reading, you can significantly improve your comprehension and performance. So, start implementing these techniques in your study routine and watch your reading skills flourish in the PTE exam.