Must-Know SAT Reading Tips

December 16, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Must-Know SAT Reading Tips

SAT Reading

The SAT Reading Test evaluates your capacity to comprehend a wide range of texts akin to the reading you will encounter in college and your line of work. In this blog, we will give SAT reading tips to help you prepare for the test.

a male student reading a book

The reading test’s questions are all related to a passage, a pair of passages, or a passage that includes one or more informational graphics, such as tables, charts, and graphs. Five passages with 10–11 questions each make up each reading test, for a total of 52 questions. Two “paired” shorter passages will be the subject of one of the five sets of questions. The reading test will take 65 minutes to complete.

SAT Reading Section

The SAT Reading Section has 52 multiple-choice questions that make up the 52 questions in the reading section, which must be finished in 65 minutes. Keep this one of the SAT reading tips in mind the reading section always contains one of the following four passage types:

  1. Science: Two passages or passage pairs on subjects like Earth science, physics, chemistry, or biology
  2. Social sciences: A passage or passages discussing sociology, psychology, economics, or a related subject.
  3. History: A passage or passages from two historical documents or speeches
  4. Literature: a single passage from either a modern or classic work of literature. This is not going to be a poem.

Typically, passages range in length from 400 to 850 words and include a graph, chart, or picture. You won’t need any prior understanding of the subjects because all questions are just based on the text.

Tips for SAT reading section

Here are some tips for the SAT Reading Section prepared by AdmissionSight:

1. Become familiar with this area based on strategies.

Many students studying for the SAT believe that the reading portion of the test consists solely of passages that test-takers must read and then respond to. That can only be said in part.

The Evidence-Based reading part is a little more complicated than that, in actuality. For example, it offers a variety of reading passages, a strict time limit, and challenging questions.

2. Begin by understanding your position.

If you haven’t already, it’s imperative that you take a SAT practice exam before you begin studying.

The most accurate way to determine where you stand on the SAT Reading is to take an official practice exam in test-like circumstances.

3. Create a reasonable timetable for improving your score.

Some students believe they may increase their SAT score by studying for it. Sadly, this is not a reliable method for getting an A on any SAT part.

a female student reading a book

One of the SAT reading tips is to set aside time to prepare for the SAT. We advise students to dedicate at least three months—and frequently much longer—to studying for this test.

This is crucial for the SAT Reading section in particular because it calls for a lot of planning and preparation. SAT goal-setting is covered in greater detail on this page.

We also want to stress that, unless you are currently extremely near this score, setting your target score as a flawless 400 right away may not be practical. Set attainable objectives that will help you get closer to the ideal score over time.

4. Consider yourself a test creator rather than a test taker.

The SAT Reading portion is intentionally difficult, according to the test-makers. They want pupils to choose the wrong course of action and waste their time. They want kids to provide predictable responses to queries.

Because of this, it’s crucial to read strategically on the SAT. Be aware of how the SAT is trying to fool you; the more you are able to foresee these traps, the more probable it is that you won’t fall for them. The following pointers are crucial SAT reading tips.

5. Recognize your strengths and always utilize them.

The SAT does not penalize incorrect answers. This indicates that pupils do not lose points for giving the wrong response to a question.

Simply put, they do not receive any points. Therefore, there is no harm in speculating! Never leave any questions on the SAT Reading blank.

On each section of the SAT, every question is worth the same number of points. An easy SAT reading question and a hard one has the same number of points.

6. Increase your comfort level with SAT Reading question types.

Understanding the various question types you’ll see on the SAT Reading is crucial. Your ability to speak fluently will help you identify your strengths and play to them. It can also give you hints about how predictable the SAT Reading section is. After all, the questions will always be of the same nature.

Additionally, each question type will be predictable in its own way, particularly in terms of incorrect response options.

7. Recognize frequent incorrect answer options.

Your chances of avoiding these pitfalls on the SAT Reading test increase as you become more adept at identifying typical incorrect answer choices.

8. By the way, don’t get lost in those options.

One of the most crucial SAT Reading tips we give to our students is this. Many test-takers get in the habit of reading through all of the answer choices before coming up with an answer to a question.

Don’t do this! This raises your odds of becoming diverted by a “shiny” trap solution.

Our advice is to read the question first, look up your answer in the passage, guess what it will be, and then rule out any possible replies that don’t fit your forecast.

9. Splitting the difference in the dual passage

Remember that there is a dual passage in one of the five SAT Reading portions. Students will therefore have to read two shorter pieces that are combined into one and respond to questions regarding both.

Divide and conquer rather than read through these two paragraphs before answering the questions! Take it one passage at a time to make your life easy.

10. Always annotate SAT tests.

Reading passages is difficult, tiresome, and dense. When reading any passage, keep your attention by annotating.

What does the term “annotate” mean? As you read a piece, keep an eye out for the important themes. Note in the margins the primary idea of each paragraph, underline any pertinent passages, and highlight any words you recognize from the questions.

Female student opening a book in a library.

Less detail should be the goal for students. As they annotate, they should give priority to broad concepts and arguments as SAT Reading questions are particularly interesting in these.

These comments can be quite helpful later on when students are answering questions because they give a clear road map for passage ideas (and ultimately answers).

11. Consider your major points.

When reading a SAT paragraph, keep in mind the essential topics. But it’s equally crucial to consider these key concepts while responding to inquiries. In fact, it is frequently possible to use a process of elimination depending on which responses are consistent with the main idea of the passage and which are not.

For instance, when answering this question, test-takers should first think about the paragraph’s core idea. It’s likely that the solution to this query relates in some way to that central notion.

12. Be precise

This is one of the most significant SAT Reading tips we give to our students, once again.

The passage itself contains every response to every SAT Reading question that is accurate. This means that if students find themselves making assumptions, significant conclusions, or other logical jumps, they should proceed with extreme caution.

Answer questions truthfully! Utilize only the information in the passage and the question stem. Answer options that diverge from these two concepts should be viewed with extreme caution.

Looking for additional information about SAT reading tips? You’ve arrived at the proper location. Over the past ten years, AdmissionSight has assisted students in navigating the challenging admissions process.

When applying to colleges, AdmissionSight can assist you in putting your best foot forward. To learn more about our services, get in touch with us right away.



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