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PTE reading: speed-reading techniques for efficiency

The Reading section of the Pearson Test of English (PTE) requires not only comprehension but also efficient reading skills to tackle the given passages within the limited time frame. Speed-reading techniques can significantly enhance your reading speed without sacrificing comprehension. In this blog, we will explore effective speed-reading techniques to help you read more efficiently and effectively manage your time in the PTE Reading section.

Skim the Passage:

Before diving into the details, start by quickly skimming the passage. Read the title, headings, subheadings, and the first and last sentence of each paragraph. Skimming helps you get a sense of the main ideas, structure, and organization of the passage, enabling you to approach the reading with a clear overview.

Focus on Keywords:

While reading the passage, train your eyes to focus on keywords and phrases. These are the words that carry the most important information and help you grasp the main ideas and arguments. Highlight or underline them to quickly refer back to them during question answering.

Use Peripheral Vision:

Expand your visual field while reading by using your peripheral vision. Instead of fixating on each word, allow your eyes to scan across the lines, capturing groups of words at a time. This technique improves reading speed and reduces the tendency to regress or re-read sentences.

Avoid Subvocalization:

Subvocalization refers to silently pronouncing each word in your mind while reading. It slows down your reading speed significantly. Train yourself to minimize or eliminate subvocalization by consciously focusing on the meaning of the words rather than pronouncing them internally. This allows you to read faster and more efficiently.

Practice Chunking:

Chunking involves grouping words or phrases together and reading them as a unit. Instead of reading word by word, try to read chunks of words that form meaningful units. This technique helps you read faster and comprehend larger portions of the text at once.

Improve Your Vocabulary:

Expanding your vocabulary is crucial for efficient reading. The more words you know, the quicker you can recognize and understand them in context. Dedicate time to learn new words and their meanings, which will help you read passages more fluently and with greater comprehension.

Enhance Reading Fluency:

Developing reading fluency is key to improving your reading speed. Regularly practice reading challenging texts at a slightly faster pace than your comfort zone. Gradually increase your reading speed while maintaining good comprehension. This practice will train your brain to process information more quickly.

Eliminate Distractions:

When practicing speed-reading, eliminate distractions in your environment. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can focus solely on the text. Minimize interruptions and ensure that you can fully immerse yourself in the reading material.

Take Timed Practice Tests:

Simulate the time constraints of the PTE Reading section by taking timed practice tests. Set a timer and aim to complete each passage within the allocated time. This exercise helps you develop a sense of urgency and trains you to read efficiently under time pressure.

Regularly Review and Reflect:

After each practice session or mock test, review your performance and reflect on areas where you can improve. Identify specific challenges you faced and develop strategies to overcome them. Continuously monitor your progress and adapt your speed-reading techniques accordingly.


Developing speed-reading techniques is essential for efficient performance in the PTE Reading section. By skimming, focusing on keywords, using peripheral vision, avoiding subvocalization, practicing chunking, improving vocabulary, enhancing reading fluency, eliminating distractions, taking timed practice tests, and regularly reviewing and reflecting, you can significantly increase your reading speed and optimize your comprehension. With consistent practice and dedication, you will be well-prepared to tackle the reading passages in the PTE exam confidently and efficiently.