miRNAs are small, non-coding RNAs that play critical roles in various cellular processes. Although there are several algorithms that can predict the potential candidate genes that are regulated by a miRNA, these algorithms require further experimental validation in order to demonstrate genuine targets of miRNAs. Moreover, most algorithms predict hundreds to thousands of putative target genes for each miRNA, and it is difficult to validate all candidates using the whole 3′-untranslated region (UTR) reporter assay. We report a fast, simple and efficient experimental approach to screening miRNA candidate targets using a 3′-UTR linker assay. Critically, the linker has only a short miRNA regulatory element sequence of approximately 22 base pairs in length and can provide a benefit for screening strong miRNA candidates for further validation using the whole 3′-UTR sequence. Our technique will provide a simplified platform for the high-throughput screening of miRNA target gene validation.