Apart from being a medical English author (I write materials for the Occupational English Test at the moment), I am also a former ESOL teacher so I am also interested in providing support for those of you you have to undertake the English test. Whenever I come across free resources which can be used to improve your English skills, I will post them on the 'English at B1' tab.
Some general hints for improving your English level in Reading
Reading: practise scanning a text for the key words. Use short articles from the newspaper or the BBC News online. Print out the article and highlight or underline the words in a sentence which really tell you what the sentence is about. They will often be nouns. E.g. In an article entitled 'The Saharan ski shop with no customers' ,
you'll find the first sentence:
Around 30 years ago, an entrepreneur from Niger spotted a gap in the market that he thought nobody else could fill - a ski-hire shop in the Sahara desert.
I've underlined what I think are the key terms in this sentence. So, if they were the only words you had been given, you would be able to guess what the sentence is about.
entrepreneur from Niger......ski-hire shop......Sahara desert.
By training your brain to only pick out the key terms in a sentence, you start reading faster because your brain starts to 'fill in' the missing words.