1 – When asked about grammar, don’t worry about comprehensionYou do not have to understand the prose of a text in order to evaluate its grammatical correctness. Instead, focus on grammar rules like comma usage and structure. Test designers will often throw in challenging writing to confuse the test-taker, even though the question at hand is a simple one.
2 – Use underlining for important points in passagesAny time a new character is introduced, the setting changes, or when you encounter a tough vocabulary word, it can be helpful to mark it for questions that will likely appear over that area or detail of the passage later on.
3 – Learn to speed readLearning how to read more efficiently can take time and requires a lot of practice. But, by learning how to speed up your reading, you can free up some additional time to answer and think about tougher questions. Ask your English teacher for some help and keep practicing increasing your speed while still having a good grasp on comprehension.
4 – Break down wordsRead unfamiliar words slowly in your head and try to break them into parts. Maybe you can’t remember the definition of the word “oceanography” but if you remember that “ocean” deals with water and “ography” refers to the study of a particular subject, you’re likely to figure out oceanography is the study of oceans. Apply this to complex words to help you get a basic understanding of the word, even if you aren’t 100% sure of the exact definition.
5 – Watch the clockDon’t devote too much time to a single passage or set of questions. Instead, break them up into even time intervals and spend an equal amount of time on each one. Remember that every question is weighted equally. Easy questions count just as much as the harder ones. It’s always a good idea to have a watch with you, but do make sure that any noises are turned off before you enter the testing room.
6 – Read for pleasureIt can be tough making time to read a book with the pressures of school and extracurriculars. But, doing so will pay off hugely when it comes time to take the SAT. Try to find passages like those on the test: books broken down into short readings at a high level. Though it’s no longer necessary to study SAT vocabulary words, it certainly doesn’t hurt to expand your vocabulary. With these tips in mind, you are well on your way to acing your SAT Reading and Writing sections!
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