Another TOEIC skill you need to develop is the ability to quickly Scan Questions, Answer Choices and Paragraphs for Words and Ideas.

The key to Scanning is to NOT READ. Instead, Look.

When you Scan, you look for specific words—Key Words—from an Answer Choice or Question.  These Key Words give the most important information or the information that makes that answer choice unique (different from the other Answer Choices).


Question: Who needs to inform Mall security? Key Words: who, inform, security

A) Security guards at Weston Mall Key Words: guards
B) People going to dinner Key Words: people, dinner
C) Shoppers at Weston Mall Key Words: shoppers
D) The CEO of Weston Mall Key Words: CEO

“Weston Mall” would NOT be a good Key Word because it appears in almost every Answer Choice.

After you have chosen Key Words from an Answer Choice, go to the Text.  Take your pencil and run it across the sentences of the Text, moving from one word to the next in each sentence.  Your eyes should follow just behind the pencil as it moves over the words.

As you move the pencil, be looking for the Key Words, or synonyms of the Key Words, from the Answer Choices.  When you find a Key Word from an Answer Choice, look for Key Words from the Question–are they nearby?  If “Yes”, then that is probably the correct answer.

The farther away an Answer Choice’s Key Words are from Question Key Words, the less likely that Answer Choice is correct!

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