If the Reading section of the SAT is challenging for you, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure you’re extra prepared. In this article, I’ve put together our top strategies for gaining confidence and improving your scores.
As you may know, the College Board recently debuted its new version of the SAT. There are some pretty significant changes in the Critical Reading section, and you should make sure you're fully prepared for what’s ahead.
In this article I’ll tell you what the major differences are and how you can make sure you’re using the right studying strategies to get ready for the redesigned SAT.
Little picture, or detail, questions make up a significant amount of questions on the SAT Critical Reading sections. Of 4 post-2005 publicly available tests I surveyed, little picture questions accounted for 25% of all passage-based questions and 17% of all SAT Reading questions. This means that it is well worth your time in your SAT Reading prep to make sure you can consistently answer little picture questions accurately and in a reasonable amount of time (what that range is for accuracy and reasonableness will depend on the score you are aiming for).
In this article, I’ll provide examples of the different ways the SAT will ask you to use little picture skills, explain the SAT Reading strategies you can use to help with these questions, and end with a walkthrough of a sample questions. First, however, I’ll explain what exactly I mean by “little picture” questions.
On SAT Reading, there are three kinds of questions that require you to read large amounts of text and distill them down into answers. At PrepScholar, we call these "Big Picture" questions.
In contrast to "little picture" questions that ask for specific details, big picture questions tend to ask about big ideas found in large chunks of text, which can be anything from a paragraph or a series of paragraphs up to an entire passage (or multiple passages, if it's a paired passage question). Learning to answer these sorts of questions will prove very useful for college or university, where professors will expect you to do exactly this with even more dense and academic writing.
But how do you identify these "big picture" questions on SAT Reading? And what are the best ways to approach answering them? Below, I’ll discuss the three primary types of big picture questions you’ll encounter on the SAT, along with common ways the SAT will ask you about each. I'll also give you expert SAT Reading strategies to answer these questions, illustrated with examples from real practice questions.
Inference questions make up nearly 15% of all SAT Reading questions (based on analysis of four publicly available new SATs). Answering inference questions correctly requires the ability to take information given in the text and then draw logical, supported conclusions from it.What are the different kinds of inference questions asked on the SAT Reading Section, and how should you go about answering them? I've got the answers for you in this article.
Function questions (also sometimes known as “meaning in context” questions) make up 17% of all passage-based reading questions, or about 12% of all SAT Critical Reading questions (based on my survey of the four publicly available post-2005 SATs). Answering function questions requires the ability to step back from the text and judge the effect of a phrase in a certain place (as opposed to little picture and vocab in context questions, which are just concerned with meaning).
So how are function questions asked on the SAT, and what strategies can you use to answer them? Read on to find out.
The reading sections of the SAT and ACT can be intimidating at first glance if you’re more inclined towards math and science than the humanities. All those passages! The horror!
Fear not, my number-loving friend. The reading sections of these tests are actually more logic and evidence-based than you might expect. In some cases, your science and math skills can even help you find the correct answers.
This article details three strategies for approaching SAT and ACT Reading if you consider yourself a more math and science-oriented student.
Passage-based questions on the SAT Critical Reading section can be a real challenge, so it’s helpful to know exactly what you’re getting into before the test. I’ve gone through the publicly available SAT tests and analyzed which types of questions show up the most frequently.
In this article, I’ll go over the different categories of questions, show you how frequently they each appear, and tell you what this information means for your testing strategy.
To do well on the SAT Reading section, you'll need to prepare yourself to understand the material and pace yourself according to the structure of the test. In this article, I’ll take you through 10 quick tips for improving your Reading performance!
PowerScore is a test prep company with fingers in many pies, including the SAT prep pie (the most standardized of pies?). They have published a trilogy of SAT Prep books: SAT Math Bible, SAT Writing Bible, and SAT Reading Bible (which is what I'll be reviewing today). Like most prep books, the SAT Reading Bible has some positive and some negative aspects. Read on to figure out whether or not this book is appropriate for you and if you should add it into your own test prep.
There are many different strategies out there for solving SAT Reading questions, but succeeding on this section really only requires mastery of one fundamental rule.
That rule is this: There’s only one 100% correct answer choice, and all the others can be eliminated without any ambiguity.
Read on to find out how this applies to your test-taking strategy and how you can use the rule to improve your scores.
Though direct analogy questions were eliminated along with the old SAT Verbal Reasoning section in 2005, analogy questions remain in place in a more abstract form in the Critical Reading section.
In this article, I’ll show you what analogy questions look like, the best way to approach them, and some step by step examples for solving them with real questions from the SAT!
Author technique questions are some of the rarer questions you will see on the SAT Critical Reading section. In this article, I’ll go through what these questions look like and how to solve them step by step.
If you're aiming for a really high SAT score, you'll need to learn how to beat the most difficult questions on every section of the test. Here, I’ll go through a few of the most difficult questions I’ve seen on the SAT Critical Reading section and how to solve them.
Why exactly are they so hard? How do you tackle them? How well will you do? Challenge yourself for that top score.
Answering questions on multiple passages is a little different from answering questions on just one passage. Some of the same advice is still applicable, but there are strategies specific to multipassage questions as well. I’ll go over the two types of paired passages on the SAT as well as giving strategies for each kind of paired passage.
Ask a Question Below
Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!