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Reading Part A Overview

How does the Reading Part A task work?

Part A of the reading sub-test is the summary reading task, and it will take 15 minutes in total. You will be given 3-4 short texts (around 650 words), and all of theses texts will be related to the same topic but come from different sources of media (i.e. newspaper articles, academic papers etc.). You must use the information in these texts to write responses for 25-35 gaps in a summary paragraph.

The summary paragraph with the empty gaps will have the same information as the texts, but it will be presented differently. The test assessors are making sure that you can scan and skim information and  understand it well enough to use it in a different format. It is important to remember that you may only write a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 words for each empty gap.

Example of the Reading Part A task

Below is a sample of the format for the summaries you will be completing. In this case, you would have read 3-4 texts about male vasectomies and must now fill in the missing words. Again, remember that the summaries are not identical to any paragraphs you will find in the texts, rather it is your job to synthesize  information in the texts in order to decide what the missing words in the summary are.


Screenshot 2016-06-27 11.18.48

This practice content was obtained from the official Cambridge OET website. For more free, downloadable practice content, visit: