SAT Tips to Ace Reading Comprehension

The SAT is all about confidence. Whether you’re learning tricks, memorizing vocabulary, or taking weekly practice exams, SAT/ACT preparation is about getting to know the exam and gaining confidence in your skills. Over the next few months, we’ll be revealing some of our top tutor tips, so stay tuned!

Reading Comprehension 101 – Underlining

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Reading comprehension questions on the SAT follow the same order as the events in the passage. While reading the passage, try to underline important details, key points, main ideas, and significant descriptions. When you get stuck on a question, underline key words in the answer choices you are deciding between, then go back to the part of the passage that relates to the question and look at what you underlined. Do you see matching words in the underlined area of the passage and anything you underlined in the answer choices? Or do you see synonyms? If so, you have a high contender for the right answer! Underlining helps you stay focused on what’s important in the passage. Matching underlined text between the passage and the answer choices lets you eliminate distractors and work with answer choices that relate directly to the passage.

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Practice makes perfect. Just ask the guy who scored a 2400 on the SAT for his number one SAT study tip and he will tell you, “Practice under test-day conditions.” While it sounds obvious to you, your 11th grader might be surprised by the importance of this SAT prep strategy. A Saturday morning spent in a classroom in July sounds like cruel and unusual punishment to most 17-year-olds. When everyone else is bragging about the top-secret, killer SAT strategies handed down from “the guy who invented the SAT,” it may seem like learning tricks is way more important than wasting all that time on practice tests.

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The Waiting Game

It’s April, and for many high school seniors, that means that the highly anticipated finale to the college admissions saga is just around the corner. But when that big, thick envelope arrives – the one that means yes – students might find themselves a bit surprised by what’s inside. Increasingly, according to a recent article in the New York Times, colleges are inviting students to wait a little longer and enroll in the spring. If you find yourself in those shoes, it is important to keep in mind that schools have all kinds of reasons for admitting students late. Moreover, many schools have implemented special programs for springtime latecomers that may end up putting them at an advantage over the average fall starter.

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SAT Returns to the Drawing Board…Again

The College Board recently announced to members of its board that it plans to redesign the SAT, but specifics on how and when the changes will occur remain unclear. The changes will be made in the 7-year wake of the last SAT overhaul, which took place in 2005 and featured the addition of a writing section and the removal of the much-derided analogy questions. While we have yet to see how these changes will impact the next generation of test takers, members of the education community have already begun speculating on how, why and when changes will be unveiled.

In his letter to College Board members, David Coleman, President of the College Board, wrote that the next changes would be made in the interest of “focusing on a core set of knowledge and skills that are essential to college and career success; reinforcing the practice of enriching and valuable schoolwork; fostering greater opportunities for students to make successful transitions into postsecondary education; and ensuring equity and fairness.”

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