IELTS reading: skimming the paragraph for heading – Part 1.

IELTS exam gives only 20 minutes to complete a passage and its related questions (usually 13). If you fix 1 minute 10 seconds to complete a question, that leaves only 4 minutes 50 seconds.

If a passage has 10 paragraphs, you have only 29 seconds to skim each paragraph. Can you read the following passage in 29 seconds? Use a stop clock to measure time.

Some art takes its subject from literature. It is far more unusual for literature to take its inspiration from art. But that is exactly what 15 writers – many of them prize winners or best sellers – have done for the new exhibition. Each has focused on one of the 15 paintings in Linden Fredrick’s show at New York’s forum gallery, opening May 11th. Visitors to “Linden Fredrick: Night Stories” can read the short stories – which average a few thousand words on electronic tablets as they view the new paintings. Many of the pictures are moody, photorealistic images of downtrodden New England towns at dusk.

(Source: Wall Street Journal; April 29, 2017)

Here’s the thing. You do not have to read everything in 29 seconds. It’s simply not possible. You just have to focus on 2 things:

1. The overall theme in the paragraph (that is, a suitable heading). This is usually found in first two lines of the passage.

2. Terms and names (of people and organizations).

Let me present the given paragraph again.

Some art takes its subject from literature. It is far more unusual for literature to take its inspiration from art. But that is exactly what 15 writers – many of them prize winners or best sellers – have done for the new exhibition. Each has focused on one of the 15 paintings in Linden Fredrick’s show at New York’s forum gallery, opening May 11th. Visitors to “Linden Fredrick: Night Stories” can read the short stories – which average a few thousand words on electronic tablets as they view the new paintings. Many of the pictures are moody, photorealistic images of downtrodden New England towns at dusk.

Theme: Art inspires literature

Terms and Names: Use short forms to save time. LF, NY, Stories, New Eng town, etc.

Let me present more paragraph and then ask questions.

  1. The exhibition, seven years in making, features works by Pulitzer Prize winners Anthony Doerr (“All the light we can not see”), Richard Russo (“Empire Falls”), Elizabeth Strout (“Olive Kitteridge”). Other contributors include Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River”), Ann Patchett (“Bel Canto”), and the screen writer Lawrence Kasden (“The Big Chill” and several “Star Wars” films). 
  2. “The mandate for the show is not necessarily to write about the picture but just to be inspired by the picture,” said Mr. Fredrick, 64, who splits time between Maine cities of Portland and Belfast. “I see it as a kind of triggar.” A book of the stories and paintings, on sale at the gallery, will be widely available this fall.
  3. The project took off after Mr. Fredrick told his friend Mr. Russo about the idea at dinner one night. Mr. Russo started reaching out to his writer friends about the venture and word spread to other authors. 
  4. Mr. Fredrick and Mr. Russo, both upstate New York natives knew of each other long before they met in Maine about eight years ago. “I kept hearing stories about this painter up in Belfast. People would say ‘he paints like you write,'” Mr. Russo said. “Linden’s paintings, beside the fact that there are never any people in them, they’re all narrative. You’ve got that beautiful wonderful image. It’s easy to come up with a story once you get that image in your brain.”

Question 1: Who among the following says that purpose of the exhibition is to use art to inspire literature:

A. Lawrence Kasden

B. Anthony Doerr

C. Dennis Lehane

D. Linden Fredrick

Now, while reading really fast, we have to skip quotes. The idea is to cature theme and names/terms only. You can either try to find the statement in the paragraph OR read the names in the answer and try to find out “who said what”.

If we move backward – from names to statements – we know that the answer is D.

Question 2: D Give suitable headings to each paragraph.

Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Paragraph 3

Paragraph 4

Options

A. Mr. Fredrick’s and Mr. Russo’s conversation.

B. Begining of the idea to use art to inspire literature.

C. Various authors inspired from art.

D. The purpose of the exhibition.

E. One artist talking about another artist.

F. Book of stories and paintings.

You can give an answer to this question in the comments section.

In this blog post, I have explained the basics of reading exercise. From next post onwards, you will face only questions. Please keep referring to this post.

To learn more about IELTS and ELTEC visit our Facebook page.

Advertisements

One thought on “IELTS reading: skimming the paragraph for heading – Part 1.

  1. Pingback: IELTS reading: Gene Editing Technology – ELTEC English

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s