The SAT reading score can be stubborn. I often hear students complain that they have read Erica Meltzer’s Critical Reader, completed hundreds of practice questions, and have seen no change. Or sometimes worse, increased by only 20 points.
However, your SAT reading score is important beyond your SAT score. A high reading score will help you step away from the crowd, demonstrate deep skills, and excel in university.
Step away from the Crowd
The typical SAT score for an international student consists of a perfect or near perfect Math score, a high Writing score, and then a lagging Reading score. Now imagine that an admissions officer reads thousands of similar applications, but yours has a reading score that is higher than your writing score. Your application can stand out just a little by being unusual.
Demonstrate Deep Skills
Reading skills are not just about the reading section. You need excellent reading skills to do well on the writing and math sections. Reading is a deep skill requiring you to combine numerous other skills. A great reading score indicates you are skilled in communication, vocabulary, reading, writing, and thinking.
Excel in University and Beyond
Reading is a vital skill for everyone in university. While Math counts for 50% of your SAT score, not everyone will need to use those math skills in university. However, everyone needs to be able to read in order to excel in university. If you don’t have excellent reading skills, you will struggle to keep up with the reading and to absorb all of the information you need. Furthermore, most careers will require you to be an efficient reader, so developing those skills early will pay off in your future.
What can I do to improve?
Become a regular reader
Regular readers carve out time in their day to read wherever they are. Sitting on the bus or subway? Don’t play a game or check your email. Read. Do you have 10 minutes before you need to be out the door? pick up your book instead of checking Instagram. Waiting in line to check out at the grocery store? yes, you guessed it. Read. If you don’t want to carry a book around, you can install a Kindle or KOBO app on your phone and use it. Many libraries also have Overdrive that will allow you to download e-books and read them off of your phone. Get into the habit of opening your book rather than opening a social media app.
What should I read?
This is one of the most common questions I get, but it is the most difficult to answer. There is no one list of books I can suggest that will magically improve your reading skills because reading is a personal experience and what works for you won’t necessarily work for others.
Raise your Reading Score
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