SAT is one of the standardized exams conducted for admission into colleges in the United States. For many students it is the big day on which day they will be appearing the exam and it might make or break their future and career.
There are a lot of study materials, online resources which can be utilized for SAT preparation. Now the question comes how to boost your score in the reading part.
Here in this article, we will discuss some tips which will help you in getting a good score in SAT reading.
What is the format of the SAT Reading test?
First of all, the most important point to be noted is, before you start reading, you have to understand what is expected of a student in the SAT reading section. The SAT Reading test is not a stand-alone test. Instead, it is just one component of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT. The other component of this section is the Writing and Language test.
SAT scorecard or report card includes a lot of numbers which might confuse the students initially. But the numbers which carry importance in this scorecard is, the composite score and individual test scores. Generally students receive a score in the range of 200 to 800 in Maths components, Evidence-Based reading and Writing component.
The SAT Reading test consists of 52 multiple-choice questions based on five written passages that you will read and respond to over the course of 65 minutes. Each individual passage is 500-750 words in length, while a set of paired passages will total 500-750 words between the two of them.
Some of the passages will stand alone, others will be presented in pairs, and still more will include visual informational graphics such as tables, graphs, or charts. You will need to be able to interpret graphics such as these to respond to questions, but you will not need to use any math to do so on this section of the SAT.
What skills are assessed by the Reading SAT?
In the reading section a candidate is basically supposed to understand the meaning of the entire passage and answer the questions correctly. The test makers don't expect the students to have any pre existing knowledge about the passages. So all you need to do is read a lot of paras and understand the gist of it, which will help you in answering the questions. You might be asked to answer some vocabulary questions as well with respect to the context given in the test.
Tips to boost your Score on the Reading SAT
So, now let's talk about some tricks and hacks of reading SAT paper and being able to answer those correctly.
Take Practice Tests
Practice tests or mock tests have always been beneficial for most of the students. Before starting your preparation for the SAT reading section first take a few mock tests for practice tests, it will tell you where do you stand right now, what are the areas you need to work on and what are your strengths. While practising always keep a track of time to check whether you are able to complete the passage on time or not. If you are not able to answer a few questions then mark the questions which you left unanswered. Next thing that you need to keep in mind is reviewing your test. Only taking practice tests again and again wont help but what will help is,your assessment you have to evaluate yourself that where you went wrong, so evaluate and review each question and then go for the next practice test.
Learn to Skim the passages
In competitive exams like SAT, the trick lies in how soon one can read the passage. Most students spend far too much time on reading the passages and trying to comprehend them instead of skimming them for basic information. In order to answer the questions asked in the reading section you don't need to read the passage word by word, so only look for relevant information. Some people can quickly skim a passage and have a general idea of what it is about while others need to spend more time, so if you know this isn’t a strength for you, use practice tests to work on your ability to skim passages quickly. So, skimming is for getting a general idea about what the passage is trying to say. Later if required you can go for detailed reading that is again if at all it is required then only.
Look for eliminating the wrong Answers
Each question on the SAT reading section will have four answer choices. The reality is that many people spend too much time focusing on which one is right, instead of eliminating the ones that are definitely wrong and being left with the correct answer. Prior to 2016, wrong answers on the multiple-choice questions of the SAT were subject to a penalty. One of the changes introduced on the new SAT in 2016, though, included the elimination of this guessing penalty. Now, there is no penalty for wrong answers, which means you should always fill in an answer for every question, even if you have no idea if it’s correct. This eliminating process is a trick and you should be able to nail it by eliminating Three wrong choices. Even if you don't have any idea about what is the right choice but you are pretty sure that the other two or three are the wrong choices then you have a pretty good chance of doing well or coming with the correct answer that is more than 50% percent chance.
Answer Easier Ones First and Skip the Difficult Ones
Learn to answer the easiest ones, the ones which you find quite easy and you can answer them correctly. After answering all those easy questions if time permits then come back to the difficult ones.
You’ll need to make a quick judgement about how long it will take you to answer each question. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t spend more than 30 seconds on each one and don’t read it more than two times. If you still aren’t sure after two read throughs of the question, make a quick guess, circle the question on your answer sheet, and move on. Circling the questions you guessed on gives you the opportunity once you’ve finished to go back and spend more time on it. Guess quickly on questions you aren’t sure of so you can move on to easier questions that you’re more likely to answer correctly. **Like most students, you’re probably better in some areas than others
You will have to decide how long you are going to spend on each question. Ideally one should not spend more than 30 seconds in a question. If you don't know the answer either you skip it for further review or you make a quick guess as there is no negative marking for a wrong answer, so even though you are not sure about the answer, answer all questions.
Don’t Spend Too Much Time Studying Vocabulary
Do not spend too much time in reading vocabulary, in the new format of SAT exam vocabulary does not have a lot of weightage, rather focus on speed reading and understanding the passage.
Practice A lot
Finally practice, practice and practice a lot. After all it is said that practice makes a man perfect. So, there is no other way to excel rather than practicing. Take a lot of practice tests and review them, this is your ultimate guide to success in SAT reading section.
Hence, if one keeps all these points in mind then definitely success in the SAT reading section is not something which remains far fetched. It will simply be a cake walk for those who will be using these smart tricks.