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How Do I Improve My Reading Skills to Get a Better Score on the SAT?

college prep high school test prep Apr 25, 2022
SAT Reading Test

You want to improve your reading abilities and get a higher score on the SAT, but you do not know how to improve your skills and are getting frustrated.

Don't worry. Here are 3 things you can work on to improve your score for the SAT.


1) Read Daily For Extended Periods

Strong reading skills are critical for the SAT, and many students struggle with the reading sections and know they need to improve but don't know how to get better.

The best thing to do is start reading and reading for extended periods. The SAT is a college entrance exam, so the passages will be written for what a first-year college student should be able to read.

Since the passages are challenging, and the test is long (3 hours), you need to know how to stay focused and engaged for more than a few minutes.


2) Learn How to Skim & Scan

Learn the difference between skimming and scanning. Not all questions require you to understand the entire passage. If reading is challenging and you are not good at reading for understanding (ability to understand the entire passage), then get good at reading for information (reading just enough to answer a specific question). 

To learn to read for information, you must get very good at skimming and scanning.

Do you know the difference?

Most students don't. Here's how they differ:

Skimming - the process of reading just enough to have a basic understanding of the passage. Don't dwell on any one thing and you are not searching for any specific bit of information

Scanning - the process of reading over material rapidly, not worried about what the passage means, but you are focused on finding specific facts that will help you answer the question.

Most people who struggle with reading try to skim when they should scan. If this sounds like you, then get good at scanning a passage for information, then slowing down to identify the specific facts that will help you answer the question correctly.


3) Look for Wrong Answers

Okay, I know this one sounds weird, but the reading section is challenging because so many answers sound the same. The mistake students make searching for the correct answer, not the wrong ones!

To determine if an answer choice is correct, every part of the answer must be right. That is both difficult to do and time-consuming.

But, to eliminate an answer choice, only one thing has to be wrong. Because of that, eliminating wrong answers is so much easier, faster, and, let's be honest, satisfying to do (we all love crossing wrong answers off to improve our odds).

Aside from really learning how to read critically, these 3 techniques should help you out.

To get even better, you can take my brand new course on how to take the SAT. It is brand new and I need reviews, so I'm pricing this at only $1 until I get more reviews to raise. I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

How to Improve Your SAT Score

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