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Essential Reading Strategies for the SAT Reading Section


Getting good marks on the SAT is always a predominant goal for all aspirants who take the exam. The digital SAT is one of the shortest tests which comprises Reading, Writing & Math. Digital SAT has now been reduced to two hours instead of the usual 3 hours test. It is not so easy to get the expected score in SAT reading. There are some well-experimented reading strategies that you can follow to crack good scores in SAT reading. In this article, we will cover the best reading strategies to optimize the SAT reading score.


Best SAT reading strategies to maximize your reading score


Master the art of catching up on the context and theme of a passage

SAT reading comprehension questions are prepared in such a way that all questions will be based on some context. There will always be a context even for very basic questions which require minimal effort. So, it is always recommended to analyze the pattern, theme and context of each question you answer. Subjects discussed in the passage will always be the main theme. Always look for some pattern, where some sort of subject is exaggerated or detailed upon. From that, you will get an idea of the context and you can move confidently.

Strengthen your vocabulary


Girl with headphone working on SAT reading strategies


Even though the major goal of the SAT is to test your reasoning and analytical skills, it is always recommended to have good knowledge of the English language. You will be asked to attend vocabulary questions, so it is advised to develop and focus on strengthening your vocabulary. There are ample ways to increase your vocabulary skills. You can frequently read books, and surf through blogs, articles and journals to improve your vocabulary. It is good to read all sorts of content irrespective of domain since SAT doesn’t focus only on literature questions but can sometimes cover questions from all domains. You can try playing word games and can use apps and sites to learn new words, their meaning and usage. By following these steps, you can improve your vocabulary skills.


Practice solving official tests


practice test for SAT images


There are officially four practice tests that have been released by the college board for all SAT aspirants. You can access the digital format of these four tests via Bluebook software and if required you have an option to download the tests as well. These practice tests have all sorts of questions that are covered as per the digital SAT pattern, which can furnish your abilities and capabilities when you take the tests. You will also get detailed explanations for all the answers with this practice test. Hence, it is advised to take more practice tests and to solve these questions to make you SAT-ready.

Go for the concise answers

Usually, SAT reading comprehension questions are trickier. Options will be framed in a way that points towards the same thing but phrased differently. Here, go for the one which is less wordy and concise and more relevant. Reject the options even if they are slightly inappropriate. Don’t fall for the trap.


Answer simultaneously


Answer simultaneously


Given a strict time constraint, not more than a minute to attempt one question, you are required to answer questions simultaneously as you read. This might leave you on a safer side. Highlighting the keywords of the questions will help you identify the answer easily. You are saving a lot of time here. You’ll master this by practicing every day.


Practice makes a man perfect!


SAT reading strategies - practice test

As said, practice makes you perfect. It is the way towards perfection and a high score. The more you practice, the better you understand the type of questions you’ll face and the pattern of SAT. This will aid you in finding your weaker spots to improve for betterment. Also, practice lets you know the areas which are time-consuming so that you can plan and utilize time efficiently. It might be quite challenging to finish the evidence-based reading section with the time constraint. Remember, Practice makes you score more!


Know Grammar rules like the back of your hand


english grammar

You can’t help it when it comes to grammar. It has to be learned. No escape here. The most commonly used grammar rules are punctuation, idioms, pronouns, sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, possessives, and modifiers. Focus primarily on punctuation. Give more importance to this portion than the others. There is an option ‘no change’ which appears frequently in punctuation types of questions to trick you. The question may seem as if there is nothing to change and makes you slip into picking this option. But you are no longer falling for this trap with your numerous practices and well-versed knowledge of grammar.


Increase your reading speed


increase reading speed


You are given 64 minutes for the SAT reading test for 5 read and respond questions. That means you are required to invest 13 minutes for each passage. Ideally, plan to complete reading a passage within 5 minutes so that you will not compromise your time on questions. Also, it is important to do keen reading and not miss out on important information. You will attain this in practice. Speed up your reading today!


Manage to finish the test with extra time to double-check


SAT reading strategies to finish test early

The main end goal of following all these SAT reading strategies is to end up with a good SAT reading score. So, it is always good to practice finishing tests with some time left to double-check your answers. Try to finish your reading module 10 minutes before the allotted time. Now, you will get some time to go back to the answers you're unsure about. Check for loopholes or errors if any. Rectify and improve your weak answers. This way you will feel very confident in gaining good scores since you’ve got time to verify, check and change your answers. Always know that effective time management is crucial in cracking exams to gain the best scores.


Make use of the SAT study materials


SAT study materials

You’ve got plenty of SAT prep books and numerous resources available online. Make use of these materials and equip yourself with tips, practice questions, reading examples and many more. This will expose you to every type of question and have you prepared for everything you face in the test.


Preparing yourself for the digital SAT with the revised pattern is not so difficult. You can score high by focusing on reasoning ability and healthy practice in vocabulary and grammar. Though these strategies may guide you to take up your SAT exam with an optimistic approach, don’t forget to identify your weaknesses and improve to achieve better results. Last but not least, set up clear goals and work towards them to set new milestones. Best of Luck!


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