SAT: The Long Term SAT Reading Strategy


The SAT Reading section is the most daunting section for most students, as this section requires you to read passages on various academic topics and answer questions based on the passages, all within a tight time limit. Most students have actually come across questions similar to ones asked on the SAT Reading section, whether they realize it or not. Even if you are one of the few who have not come across any similar questions, you would have had to use the skills required in some way for school.


Sure there are many classes, and even crash courses, that will teach you strategies to improve your SAT Reading score, but the best way to improve your SAT Reading score, is actually to become better at reading comprehension. This is a long process, requiring reading academic writing on a regular basis. One can argue that this is essentially what going to school entails. While that is true, you may find that in order to really excel in the SAT Reading section, you need to bolster your reading skills.


To cement your reading skills, you should try to read at least two academic articles a week. The articles do not have to be long, but you should try to pick articles with varying topics each week. This should not take up too much of your time each week, but over time, you will find that your reading speed and comprehension will increase.

Keep in mind that this is a LONG TERM strategy, which is best implemented for at least one year in advance of sitting the SAT exam.


For those of you whose first languages are not English, this strategy is especially important. When you read the articles, make sure to circle any words that you are unfamiliar with and look up the meaning. You do not always have to memorize the list of vocabulary. If you continue to do this for a longer period of time, you will find that you are becoming familiar with words that appear often. This will eventually become part of your vocabulary. This strategy is effective because words that appear often in these articles will also be more likely to appear on SAT passages.


Another benefit of doing this is that when taking a test like the SAT, where pressure is high, the feeling of familiarity upon seeing articles or passages that pertain to topics you have seen before, may help you relax. This will help you think better and also give you a much-needed mental break during the long exam.


Here are some good sources for academic articles:


  1. The New York Times
  2. The Economist
  3. The Wall Street Journal
  4. Reader's Digest
  5. Harvard Business Review
  6. Time Magazine


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