Everyone wants to improve their SAT Reading score and they are looking for the secrets and quick fixes. The truth is that reading is more complex than learning a series of rules and applying them. Instead, you need to practice reading. However, you came here to find the 5 quick ways to improve and here they are.
Number 1–Do fewer Passages
If you are getting over 20 reading questions wrong, you should step back and look at what you are doing. Are you rushing through easy passages and making foolish mistakes? Are you getting bogged down in the Global Conversation passage and running out of time? STOP. Instead of trying to do all of the passages, try to do 4 of them and give yourself 15 minutes for each one. Then choose all “b” (or c, or d…whatever your favorite letter is) for the 5th passage. By giving yourself more time for the other passages you can be more careful and you will accidentally get 2-4 questions correct in the 5th passage without ever having read it.
Number 2–Take Notes
Yes, yes, I know. You don’t want to because it takes too long. But I would argue, you spend more time re-reading the passage trying to find a reference that it takes to make point form notes as you read through the first time. Develop your own short hand of symbols and abbreviations to speed the process up. Also practice this skill using longer passages to become adept at annotating the passages.
Number 3–Be Flexible
Some students read every passage the same way and do every question the same way. However, different passage types can be overcome by using different techniques. Science and Social Science passages can be skimmed but you need to read Literature passages carefully. Global Conversation Passages often are easier if you take them in question by question. Be willing to adjust your technique depending on the passage.
Number 4–Remember that the answer is in the passage (mostly)
The SAT Reading test is more literal than you might think. Sometimes even the Inference questions’ answers are stated directly in the text. Going back to the text and finding the phrasing that is closest to an answer choice is the best way to ensure you have found the correct answer.
Number 5–Use Process of Elimination
It is a fact that of the 4 answer choices 1 is correct/best and the other 3 are incorrect/not as good. Sometimes it is easier to eliminate the wrong answers than it is to identify the right answers.
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