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SAT Reading

SAT ReadingSAT is a standardized exam which tests critical thinking skills. Firstly it was introduced in 1901, since this time it has changed the name and scoring system several times. Since 2005, it lasts approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. Possible results are in the range from 600 to 2400 points, which are the sum of three components of the test, each of which can provide up to 800 points.

For admission to some universities you can be required to take additional SAT Subject Tests.

In this article we’ll speak about the first section of the test – SAT Reading.

Critical Reading section consists of three parts; two of them last for 25 minutes and the last one – 20 minutes. The majority of the questions require multiple choices, but there is also a task in which you need to enter the correct answers or to analyze the short and long sentences in the text. Students need to read the question and select the right of the proposed answers. It can be the word that best fits the meaning, or a word that is spelled correctly.

Also, students are asked to compare several texts (by various criteria) and choose the one that fits the task. Basically, the questions are not arranged according to the degree of difficult, but nevertheless, often simple tasks are at the beginning, and complex ones are the end of the section. The number of questions on the text is proportional to the length of it. Tasks can include questions which test the student’s vocabulary, critical thinking and the ability to analyze the information. For SAT Reading section you can receive from 200 to 800 points.

SAT Reading preparation

If you want to receive high scores for this section, read our tips and try to follow them during the test.

Sentence Completion tasks:

  1. Before you see the answer variants, try to complete the sentence with your own words.
  2. Don’t rush to give an answer. Look at all the variants to choose the right one.
  3. Use context to understand the meaning of unfamiliar words.
  4. Pay attention to the negative particles (as «not») and attachments (such as «un-»).
  5. If you cannot understand the word, try to remember the words with similar prefixes, suffixes, or roots.
  6. In the tasks with double definition exclude those answers, where the first word doesn’t make sense to the sentence.

SAT Reading preparation: attacking Sentence Completion tasks:


Reading Comprehension tasks:

  1. Your answers should include the information which is contained or implied in the passage of text.
  2. Read the italicized entry.
  3. Miss the tasks for which you don’t know the answer. Go back to them after you’ve answered the simple questions.
  4. The first and last sentences of each paragraph contain the basic information.
  5. Find the right place in the text using the keywords in the task.
  6. Firstly read the passage and then read the task.
  7. Don’t try to memorize all details.
  8. Basically, in SAT Reading section there are passages of humanitarian subjects, as well as taken from the sociology or scientific literature.
  9. Take most of the time to answers the questions rather than reading the text.