SAT Reading Comprehension General Tips

The SAT Reading Comprehension is tough, and although it seems like your everyday comprehension exercise, it really isn’t. You need to be well aware of the various useful techniques that can be employed by you to improve your SAT score. The SAT Critical Reading (Reading Comprehension) section will form the lion’s share of the verbal questions. You will find more Comprehension questions than you would find sentence completions or any other. So, it is imperative that the techniques for attempting the SAT Reading Comprehension questions be learned properly.

Before looking at the different question types that you may encounter on the SAT, it is important to examine a few few general points that will help you score better on the SAT.

1) Before you even begin answering the questions, remember that you have the passage to deal with. Students who sit down, and try to read the entire passage before attempting the answers often find themselves at a huge loss. Never read the entire passage word by word – you simply don’t have the time for it. Instead, just scan/gloss through the passage, taking in the main points being discussed in the text, and committing them to your memory. To scan a passage you only need to read the first and last line of each paragraph in the passage. It will give you an essential idea of what the passage is about, and will also help guide you toward the correct part of the passage when you get to the questions.

So remember, no reading the passage in full. SCAN the passage, and look for the main ideas that the author raises.

2) Now proceed to the questions. First, read the questions carefully. Make sure you UNDERSTAND the question.

3) Cover the Answer choices and look back at the passage, and think about what kind of answer the question is demanding. Using your own ideas, form an answer in your head or write it down in the test booklet. It’s of paramount importance that you DO NOT peek at the answers beforehand. Remember, the answer choices are only meant to confuse you, not guide you.

4) Once you’ve thought of something you believe might be the answer, remove your hand from the answer choices. Look at each option carefully, and choose the one option that best corresponds with your idea. You can eliminate the answer choices that do not go with the idea in your head. In this way, even if you get reduced to two answer choices, you’ll still have a 50% chance of getting the questions right.

5) This sounds like a lengthy process, but in reality it shouldn’t take you that long to figure it out. Remember, the SAT is a timed test, and you will only have a limited amount of time. Spend it prudently.

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