LAMDA Exam Sight Reading Tips

LAMDA Exam Sight Reading Tips for Verse and Prose

To be a good sight reader, means being able to share the text, by bringing your eyes off the page to connect with your audience. Learning to scan the text ahead is a skill that comes with regular practice.  A great tip is to use your thumb as a placeholder on the page, then as you read, slide it down the page line by line. This way you can be sure to keep your place.

Practise memorising sentences in just a glance, first one, and then two and then build on that.

  • Clues in the Text

You’re only given one minute to study the piece of text given to you in your exam and every second counts.  You won’t be allowed to make notes but it’s always worth making a mental note of where the text is leading.  Is there a clear, beginning or end?  Is there a turning point or ‘moment of discovery?’ 

Also, check through your text for any difficult words and ask if you do not know how to pronounce them.  Look out for any interesting punctuation such as question marks, exclamation marks and ellipses (which is one of these → …)

 An exclamation mark is always a clue from the writer to inject energy into words. 

You may wish to use a rising inflection on questions and an ellipsis (one of these → …) may be used to build suspense. 

Another great tip is to familiarise yourself with the opening and last sentences by repeating them in your head three times. This will help you deliver a confident beginning and end.

  • Share the Story

 Before you begin, it’s always a good idea to check your posture and the position of your paper. 

Hold your paper at middle chest height so it isn’t hiding your face, and make sure your spine is lengthened and your shoulders are relaxed. 

 Remember, look up and out! 

Before you start a breath, make eye contact with your listeners, breathe slowly and begin.

Whilst you’re sight reading, remember to share the story with your audience.  The more you enjoy the reading, the more the audience will too, so slow the pace to give your listeners more time to absorb what you’re saying

  • Practice Makes Better

 It’s really important to practice sight reading whilst you’re studying for your exam.  Grab hold of any texts you can and read them aloud to your family members or practise in front of the mirror.

A newspaper lying around the house will do, a menu, a free magazine that pops through the door or your favourite novel!

By practicing regularly, you’ll soon get the hang of sight reading; you will grow in confidence and be able to handle any text given to you by the examiner.