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The DSE English Exam Paper 1 (Reading) consists of two parts.  Students are given 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete the compulsory Part A and they can choose to attempt either Part B1, the easier section or Part B2, the more difficult section.

Within the time limit, students are required to read a variety of texts, process a large amount of information and answer about 50 to 60 questions of different types.

In order to succeed in this paper, students need to apply effective reading strategies (高效的閱讀策略) during the exam. They should avoid reading each and every word in a text.

According to the Senior Secondary English Language Curriculum Guide prepared by the Curriculum Development Council and the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, students should learn to be effective readers by adopting useful reading skills and strategies such as skimming (略讀) and scanning (掃描).

Using Effective Reading Strategies for DSE English Exam Paper 1


Before looking at the questions, students should skim the passage once to get a general impression (總體印象) of what the text is about. They should read the headings (標題), subheadings (副標題), the introductory paragraph (首段), the topic sentence (主題句) of each body paragraph, and the concluding paragraph (結尾段). The purpose of skimming is to gain an overall impression of the content and to understand the main idea (要旨、中心意思) of the text. This process usually takes about 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the length and difficulty of the text.


After obtaining a general impression of the text, students should read the questions one by one and look for the keywords (關鍵字) in each question. They should then go back to the text and scan rapidly for clue (線索) words and phrases that are relevant to the question. This time, students do not deal with the content of the text as a whole. Instead, they use the keywords in the questions to decide which part of the text to read, in order to locate specific (明確的) details and information (e.g. a name, a word, a number, a date, and a fact) and answer the questions effectively.


Effective Reading Strategies for DSE English Exam Paper 1
Skimming (略讀)Scanning (掃描)
Purpose:To gain an general impression and get the main idea of the text To locate specific details
What to read:Headings, subheadings, introductory paragraph,topic sentence of each body paragraph, concluding paragraphNames, numbers, dates, facts