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SAT Reading Tips

Whether a student loves to read or not, the critical reading section can seem like an especially challenging portion of the SAT. Students must read passages on a number of different topics and answer questions. Also, they must tackle a section of sentence completion questions. Students who work with our Veritas Prep instructors learn how to approach the various questions found within the critical reading section. Also, they complete many SAT critical reading practice tests so they can become familiar with the content and format of the test. Not surprisingly, students who practice for the test are more at ease when they sit down to complete the real thing. Consider just a few simple tips that can prove useful on this section of the SAT.

The Answer is in the Passage

One of the easiest strategies to remember when completing passage-based reading questions is that the correct answer can be found somewhere within the passage. This makes it all the more important for a student to take care when reading through the passage. The answer option a student chooses must be supported in the passage on the page. Students who study with our instructors are able to sharpen their reading skills as they complete several SAT critical reading practice tests.

Look for Relationships in the Answers to Double-Blank Questions

A double-blank multiple-choice question on the SAT requires a student to find the correct pair of words. One of our most valuable SAT critical reading tips is to find a relationship between the pair of words in the answer. A parallel relationship is one example of what a student should look for. If two words have a parallel relationship, it means that they both have either a negative or a positive tone. Another type of relationship to look for is an opposed relationship. Two words with an opposed relationship are opposite in tone. A progressive relationship between a pair of words means that the second word in the pair is similar in meaning to the first word but to a greater degree. “Nervous” and “frantic” are two words that have a progressive relationship. In order to use this test-taking tip effectively, a student must read the sentence carefully to look for clues that will reveal the relationship of the two words. Students who take our online SAT prep courses have the opportunity to work through practice sentence completion problems. A student who takes advantage of guided practice with one of our knowledgeable tutors is sure to feel more confident about completing these types of questions by the time test day arrives.

Look at the Parts of a Word to Find Meaning

Our professional team at Veritas Prep understands that building a more expansive vocabulary prepares a student to successfully navigate SAT reading comprehension questions. If a student isn’t sure of the meaning of a word, it’s helpful to look at its prefix, root, or suffix. For instance, a student who isn’t sure about the meaning of the word “desensitize” should look at its prefix, de. If you know that the prefix de indicates removal, then it’s likely that you can figure out the meaning of “desensitize” from there. A student working with one of our online instructors takes lots of SAT reading practice tests to prepare for these types of questions.

Use the Order of the Test Questions to Your Advantage

While working on sentence completion questions, a student should remember that they are arranged in a way that allows a student to start with simple questions. As a student moves further into the section, the questions become more difficult. When our students are working on SAT reading practice questions, we advise them to opt for familiar, easy words when answering the first few questions in the section. Later, when the student is working on questions found near the end of the section, they should choose answers in the form of more difficult words. Students who remember this tip will know how to adjust their approach as they move toward the last sentence completion question.

For students who are concerned about this section of the SAT, reading tips can be very helpful. At Veritas Prep, we have instructors and resources that can help a student to feel more prepared for this section of the test.