7 Critical Reading Strategies
Here is a list of 7 SAT Critical Reading Strategies:
1. Don't psych yourself out on the reading sections. When you get to the critical reading portion of the SAT, don't say, "Oh no, more boring and obscure science passages." Instead, take a positive attitude and tell yourself that you're going to learn something interesting.
2. Focus on the 3 key questions. The key to good reading comprehension is answering three key questions: What is the purpose? What is the main idea? And what is the overall structure of the passage?
3. Get your own answer first. On the reading questions, don't jump to the choices too quickly. Instead, read each question carefully and think of your own answer first, then find the choice that best matches it. This will help you avoid the "traps."
4. Deal with your "space outs." Many students "space out" on the reading because they get over whelmed or disoriented when reading about topics like paleontology or primitivism. If it happens to you, don't panic and don't rush. Just continue from where you left off.
5. Be selective on the reading questions. Unlike the other SAT sections, the reading questions don't get progressively harder. Instead, they follow the sequence of the passage: the first questions focus on the beginning of the passage, and the last questions on the end. If you get to a tough reading question, skip it and move on; the next one might be easier.
6. Don't fall for the traps. Always read critical reading questions very carefully. Many choices are "traps:" they make true statements about the passage, but they are not "correct" because they do not answer the question asked. You won't fall for them if you get your own answer first.
7. Know how to attack the "paired passages." On the "paired" passages (Passage 1 vs. Passage 2), it is generally best to read Passage 1 and then go right to the questions that pertain to Passage 1 before moving on to Passage 2. If you try to read the passages back-to-back, it may be harder to recall and distinguish the key information from the two passages. Don't let them run together.
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