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Three Must-Know SAT Reading Tips

SAT test has been changed since March 2016 by the administrator, the College Board, with a format that has only 4 sections including the essay (now optional). Students can earn a score of 400 to 1600 with no penalty for guessing. The changes may have made the test seem easier; however, the New SAT is still designed to trick and confuse you.

Thus, you often find that the various types of questions on the New SAT are different from what you have solved in school. The time for each section in the New SAT is limited. Therefore, students will need to have very strong analytical thinking and problem solving skills to crack the test.

SAT test tips-THiNK PREP

What has changed?

The reading section of the test consists of four individual passages and one pair of passages. The subjects of these passages are predetermined: one of them comes from U.S. and World Literature. Another two come from History and Social Studies. And the other two involve Science.

2016 SAT asks reading comprehension questions about: main points, details, inferences, vocabulary in context, function, author technique, evidence support, and data analysis from a graph, table, or chart, that all gauge your ability to connect evidence to your answers and deconstruct logic and arguments.

"Time is of the Essence," especially for the reading part. You will have five passages to read and 52 questions to answer within only 65 minutes. It is very important to learn the essential reading strategies, get into practice, and have a right way of studying specifically for the SAT test.

SAT Reading Strategies by THiNK PREP:

  • Skim the passage. Don't try to understand every line, or write down notes for potential questions. Finish reading the passage within 3 minutes with a general understanding of the passage.

  • Go to the questions. If a question refers to a line number, go back to the line number and understand the text around it for context.

  • Skip if you can’t answer within 30 seconds. Every question is worth the same amount of points. If you can't come up with an answer within 30 seconds, just move on and solve the rest that is easier for you.

Three Must-Know Tips for SAT Reading Test

1. Eliminate Three Wrong Answers Remember that SAT always has one unambiguous answer and three obviously incorrect answers. Keep in mind that answers that are - too specific, too broad, Reversed Relationship, unrelated in concept - are usually the classic wrong answer choices.

2. Find Your Weaknesses and Drill Them Although reading passage questions look similar, they are actually testing very different skills. English experts at THiNK PREP listed these important reading passage skills:

Big Picture/Main Point

Little Picture/Detail


Words and Phrases in Context

Citing Textual Evidence


Analyzing Word Choice

Analyzing Text Structure

Analyzing Multiple Texts

Analyzing Quantitative Info

3. Don't Waste Time on Vocab Studying.

Vocab does not play a big role in the SAT Reading test anymore. This is especially true for the redesigned 2016 SAT because the College Board has completely removed sentence completion questions, in response to criticism of forcing students to memorize advanced vocab that they did not really seem to use in college or their careers. You can spend more time on learning how to deal with Reading passages efficiently.

The New SAT is evidence/analytic-based and each question requires a different method of prep and focused practice. To intelligently test prep and save your time, find your strengths and weaknesses. Identify the type of question that you miss and analyze them to develop your own practice skills to get them right.

Start your efficient test prep now with SAT Prep Programs at THiNK PREP.
We provide diagnostic tests which determine your strengths and weaknesses in Analytical Reading, Writing, and Math. THiNK PREP creates customized classes equipped with experts for you. Register today and improve your SAT Score by 200+ points*, Guaranteed.

Feel free to contact us via Email or call us for free consulting.

*To be eligible for Score Improvement Guarantee, students must consult with our educational consultant.

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