Objective: First Certificate (FCE)

Anywhere, anytime: a FCE companion

Would you scan or skim?

with 8 comments

How would you read the following? Decide which one requires you to skim or to scan the text (click on “Comments” below and leave your answer there)…















Written by ElenaBen

November 16, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Paper 1: Reading

Tagged with ,

8 Responses

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  1. In the website (1) we skim because we don’t look for any specific information (normally). There’s a lot of it, so we just look for something interesting.
    In the train timetable (2) we look for specific information, we scan. If someone wants to know the train times from Alicante to Denia he will look for that data there.


    November 17, 2007 at 1:08 pm

  2. Hi Ana,
    First picture is the “What’s on?” section of a given website (maybe a website about Valencia or London or NY).
    The 2nd photograph is a guidebook, the TimeOut guide (on Venice).
    The 3rd one is the Directions for Use of a given product.
    And the 4th one is the train timetable as you said.


    November 17, 2007 at 1:30 pm

  3. Sorry,I can only see two of them…firts and last I think.


    November 17, 2007 at 4:29 pm

  4. Oops, Houston we have a problem, weird. I’ll check that. Have you refreshed the page? (try clicking on ‘refresh’)…


    November 17, 2007 at 8:13 pm

  5. The first picture correspond to a website. Then I would skim through it, looking for a concrete information. The same for the tram timetable, and the city guide TimeOut.

    However, the directions of use of the cleaning product needs to be carefully scanned.


    November 20, 2007 at 5:44 pm

  6. The first and second pictures, I have to skim, because I want to browse the text. i.e. newspaper, magazine
    On the 3rd and 4th ones, I skan because I know where the info is and I look for it. i.e. page of TV program on newspaper


    November 22, 2007 at 6:38 pm

  7. Hi, I have a similar problem with the pictures: I only can see correctly two of them, and a part of a third one. I think the images don’t load well. Anyway, in my opinion we skim the first picture (what’s on) and the second one (TimeOut guide) because we don’t look for something specific (although we can find someting interesting by chance). I can’t see the link for the third photo (Direction for Use of a product) but I agree with what Assum said because we are looking for a concrete information (how to use, risks, preventive measures,…). So, here we scan. And finally, as for the last picture (timetable) I think the same as Ana: we scan because we are focused on finding a particular answer.
    Other examples of scanning: when we look for something in a encyclopedia, or when we look up the reference of a book in a cathalogue.
    Other examples of skimming: when we take a look at a magazine or when we put on the teletext.


    November 22, 2007 at 7:03 pm

  8. Of course, it depends on the reason why you are taking a look at those sites. Let’s take the “what’s on” section as an example: if for instance I want to see ‘Cassandra’s dream’, I know what I’m looking for: cinemas showing that movie (and showtimes), thus, I’ll scan the section. However, if I don’t know what I’m going to do and I’m just taking a look to see if there’s anything interesting, then I’ll skim.
    I think you all understood the concept then, congrats!


    November 28, 2007 at 3:51 pm

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