November 17, 2023

SAT Reading Strategy Suggestions

 If you're stuck between two choices...

  • Look for one word that makes one of the choices wrong.
  • See if one of the choices is somehow irrelevant or easy to misunderstand. (For example, question 42 from SAT #6 has a trap choice in case the reader confuses a claim about the present with a claim about the future.)
  • See if there's a word that has more than one definition or a definition that is easy to misunderstand. Try another definition to see if it fits the context better. (For example, the word "counterargument" in question 36 does not usually include "misunderstanding" or "misinterpretation" in its range of meaning.)
  • For Supporting Evidence questions, the resolution almost always involves finding the lines that support every single word in both the question stem and the correct answer in the previous question. The trap answer choice may fail to support every single word. If there's a transition word, a pronoun that connects to something else in the paragraph, or some other reason to tie the lines in question to other lines in the passage, it is appropriate to look in those lines as well for the support you need.

SAT #6: Reading section, question 36

If you like one choice but that choice sounds similar to another choice...

  • Check your original answer to make sure every single word has evidence. (Remember to check the question stem as well. For example, if the question stem includes the phrase "for this reason," the passage should include evidence of causality or logical support for an idea.)
  • Check the suspect answer for one word that is incorrect, true but off-topic, uses the wrong lines (!), or tries to use an overly broad idea (for example, assuming claims that are broader than what the author actually says).

If you have specific questions about what to do, please comment below and let me know!


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