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SAT Reading

Teacher/Instructor Eva Holtz
Eva Holtz

Harvard University
Perfect scores on the SAT and 4 SATIIs

Eva is a certified admissions counselor and the founder of PrepPoint, a premier test prep company in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Welcome to the intro to critical reading, in this episode we'll be talking about what's going to show up on the critical reading section, both in terms of how the test is broken up and the question types you can expect to see. In brief there are going to be three critical reading sections, two of them are twenty five minute long and the third is just twenty minutes in length and the question types are two in number; the first is sentence completion the second passages. Let's look at those question types in more detail.
The first question type you're going to encounter on the critical reading section of the SAT is sentence completions. Here is an example and we're not going to follow this one but I just wanted to give you a look at it and here's what you should know about sentence completions. First of all, you're going to be reading a sentence with one or maybe two words missing and then you're going to have to find the best match from among the answer choices for that blank in the sentence. And you should always be sure to do the sentence completions first. Number one they're pretty quick and number two it's relatively easy to eliminate some wrong answer choices and guess from the remaining ones and since you should always pick an answer choice if you can't eliminate one or more on the SAT, it's a good way to pick up some points.
Now the other question type is passages, that looks something like this. You're going to get a passage along with an introductory blurb in italics and then have a question about the passage and those passages can come in different formats, you may read passages that are short or long, they are a variety on the SAT, single or double; double would be two different authors writing two different passages but on the same subject. And lastly you might read about a variety of topics; science, art, history and so on. So doesn't narrow it down the field a lot but that's what you can expect to see and you should also know that your job is to pick the best answer choice from among the ones available to you. Now we're not going to talk strategy in this episode but FYI, the best answer choice is the one that is clearly supported by the passage and also answers the question that you're being asked. So those are the two question types, let's look at the bottom line.
So as you can see it's pretty simple, you're going to be dealing with three sections on the critical reading and two of those are going to be twenty five minutes long and the third will be twenty minutes in length and there will be two question types there; sentence completion and passages. And in the episodes that follow, we're going to give you lots of good advice for how to the make most of your time, make the best decisions and ultimately feel most comfortable and do best on the critical reading section of the SAT.