The new, Redesigned SAT is here! At Tutor Ted, we’ve been studying the format of the new exam in order to give our students the best possible advice for how to tackle it.
We’ll start with the new Reading Test, and 5 strategies to keep in mind as you take the test!
#1: Evidence questions: two correct answers for the price of one!
Questions that ask you to find what evidence would justify an answer give you the chance to get two questions right back-to-back. Because the answer choices give you specific lines in the passage to reference, you can use those answer choices to confirm the answer to the preceding question. When you get these questions right, the two answers should feel like they lock together. When they do, you know you just got two answers right.
#2: Small clues matter.
The new SAT Reading Test is harder than the old one, based on both the reading level of the test and the difficulty of the questions. Every word in every answer choice matters. That might sound daunting, but you can use that fact to your advantage. If one word in an answer choice is irrelevant or incorrect, that whole answer choice is out! Eliminate it and move to the next one.
#3: The answers are still in the passage.
I’ve got some really good news: all of the correct answers on the SAT Reading Test are in the passage. That’s how it was on the old SAT, that’s how it is on the new SAT. That means that it’s your job is to extract clues from the passage to the right answer. When you find a connection between the passage and an answer, you will be confident that you found the right answer.
#4: Question stems offer incredibly important clues.
Many students read the question stems too quickly and miss important clues as a result. Don’t be like them! Read the question stems more carefully than anything else on the test because they will tell you what kind of question (big picture, small detail, perspective) you are trying to solve.
#5: Practice reading at a high level.
The reading level on the new SAT is at about a college sophomore level. For most high school students, that’s above the level that you are accustomed to. To get better at it, you need to practice! On the SAT you will see at least one passage that is more than 100 years old. You can read that kind of challenging material…you just have to practice.
Now you’ve got some strategies for approaching the new SAT Reading Test! To learn more detailed strategies, visit the Tutor Ted blog, located at tutorted.com/blog!