SAT-Critical Reading Shortcuts

SAT plays trick with students mainly for students having time constraints to complete the reading passage. So here are some of the things you must keep into focus:

  • Pay attention to words and phrases like “not” “except,” and “least” in the question stem.
  • Put the question in unambiguous terms-Breakdown the long question stem and rephrase it
  • Correctly eliminate the wrong choices
  • Try to practice open ended questions like “Which of the following is not something with which the author would agree?”
  • Go back to passage and underline or circle that you feel are important
  • Look for the choice that is the “most wrong,” or the least supported by the passage and remove it
  • Try to rephrase the questions so that you are able to better understand those, for example, “Based on the passage, Newton's academic fascination extended to all of the following except:” is the original question that is asked and this can be rephrased as “What did not fascinate Newton?” So now what you need to do is to “Find and eliminate the things that did fascinate Newton.”
  • Don't waste too much time to re-read the passage
  • Scan and circle-Keep marking the important things and phrases throughout the passage
  • This helps you to spot the answer paraphrased in the choices
  • In “except” questions-usually 4 out of the 5 choices are stated somewhere in the passage and its detail are always somewhere mentioned. What is important is to find them from the passage-have a close and detailed look.