Basic Approach for New SAT Reading Test

Home > SAT Test > SAT Reading > New SAT Reading Test

Basic Approach for the Reading Test

Follow these steps for every Reading passage. We'll go over these in greater detail in the next few pages.

1. Read the Blurb. The little italicized bit at the beginning of each passage may not contain a lot of information, but it can be helpful for identifying the type of passage.

2. Select and Understand a Question. For the most part, do the questions in order, saving the general questions for last and using your LOTD on any questions or passages you want to skip.

3. Read What You Need. Don't read the whole passage! Use Line References and Lead Words to find the reference for the question, and then carefully read a window of about 10–12 lines (usually about 5 or 6 lines above and below the Line Reference/Lead Word) to find the answer to the question.

4. Predict the Correct Answer. Your prediction should come straight from the text. Don't analyze or paraphrase. Often, you'll be able to find something in the text that you can actually underline to predict the answer.

5. Process of Elimination. Eliminate anything that isn't consistent with your prediction. Don't necessarily try to find the right answer immediately, because there is a good chance you won't see anything that you like. If you can eliminate answers that you know are wrong, though, you'll be closer to the right answer. If you can't eliminate three answers with your prediction, use the POE criteria (which we'll talk about in a few pages.)

More Information