The first reading task in the exam is Task 5 in the Reading and Use of English Paper: six questions about a text, each question followed by four answers to choose from.
My tips for task 5 are:
- Usually there is one question per paragraph, so read the first question (but not the answers) and then start reading the text until you find a passage that looks like a possible answer. Compare the passage with the four options you’ve got and make a choice. Underline or highlight the passage that helped you for further reference. Then read question 2 and keep on reading.
- If you’ve finished reading without answering all the questions, move to Task 6 anyway. It will save you time. Go back to problematic questions after finishing the whole paper.
- Don’t choose one of the answers just because it contains some words or information from the text – it’s usually a trap! You need to really understand the text.
- Don’t worry if you don’t understand all the words in the text. This is not a vocabulary exercise and difficult vocabulary is rarely tested in the questions.
How to get prepared for Task 5? (apart from studying English in general)
- Read a lot, in any language, especially if you are a slow reader.
- Do examples of Task 5, giving yourself around 10 minutes. If it’s impossible, start with 20 or 15 minutes, then slowly reduce that time.
Personally, I don’t like doing Reading tasks online. The following books are a good source of sample exams. If you can’t afford new books, don’t worry – most Reading and Use of English tasks didn’t change their format in the 2015 revisions, so you can buy old, cheaper editions of the books, maybe even second-hand ones: