Strategies for Success on SAT Reading Comprehension

The SAT Reading Comprehension section can seem daunting, however there are some simple tricks that you can employ to maximize your exam score. Getting a good score on the SAT Reading is crucial to getting a good overall score and for remaining competitive during the college admissions process.

Build your vocabulary

First and foremost, it is essential to have a solid foundation in vocabulary. One word can make the difference between understanding the main point of a passage and misinterpreting it. Additionally, the SAT will directly ask you for the definitions of some words. You can expand your vocabulary base through vigorous memorization. Tip: flash cards can be very helpful here!

Take notes and highlight

While taking the SAT Reading, there are simple steps you can take to increase your score. One of the most crucial strategies is note-taking and highlighting. Highlighting forces you to pay attention to key sentences and arguments. It also provides a simplified framework which you can reference when answering multiple choice questions. Note-taking (jotting down bullet points to summarize main arguments in the margin) engages the analytical segments of your brain. This will help you to anticipate some of the more interpretive questions on the SAT.

Read the questions first

These are the core strategies. If you still struggle with the SAT reading, then there are some additional strategies you may want to try. One of the most common is to read the multiple choice questions before the passage itself. This lets you answer the questions as you read the passage and focus on the more relevant parts in the reading. However, be warned that some questions are designed to trick you, so sometimes there may seem to be two possible answers when in reality there is only one answer that precisely matches the passage.

Overall, in order to maximize your score on the SAT reading, it is important to begin your preparation early. Our private tutors at Aegis Advisors can help you make a study plan no matter what stage of the review process you’re in. Reach out to us today for further information about SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, AP, and IB tutoring.