SAT Reading: Figure out the best way to tackle the passage in SAT Reading

One of the most difficult sections happens to be the SAT reading portion and many students agree with this assessment.  It is no secret that this portion challenges the students appropriately on their reading skills. Not only do you have to brush up on your reading skills, but you also have to focus thoroughly over 65 minutes. The presence of focus is important because the students need to look for evidence in the passage to support their answers too. Be sure to invest time in your SAT preparation and SAT coaching for this part of the exam Y2metacom.

Students need to realize that this portion will perhaps be time-intensive and the test pattern may be littered with “Distractor” answers so that students who are not careful in reading the passage will definitely make a mistake. In this article, we hope to guide the SAT aspirants to improve their SAT preparation by investing time in SAT reading. Just like any competitive exams, the SAT reading portions needs correct strategies too. The first thing is to familiarize yourself with the format of the passages present in your SAT reading. Refer to the complete details about SAT Reading from this article of EduQuest Tutflix.

The different types of passages in SAT Reading

The SAT reading test generally consists of four individual passages along with one pair of passages. Your SAT preparation should take the format of these passages into account. One passage will have the topic of the US and World Literature. Two passages come from the topic of History and Social Sciences and the remaining two passages come from the Science topics. Generally, these passages are not too long. Each passage will probably consist of something like 500 or 750 words. But that s not all, some of the passages may also include graphs and tables.

The total number of questions in this portion is 52. The students will have to complete the SAT reading portion all in one time within 65 minutes. This is the first section that one has to complete in SAT and it is no surprise that SAT coaching and SAT preparations place so much importance on this one.

Before the students start to plan their strategies to tackle these passages within the appropriate amount of time, it is a good idea to review the types of questions that come in the SAT reading portion.

Formats of questions in SAT Reading portions

The questions in the SAT Reading portion tends to concentrate on main points, details, vocabulary, inferences, as well as author technique. The evidence support and data analysis is also something that the students need to navigate. The new SAT exam pattern puts stress on how the students tend to connect the evidence to their answers and their reasoning skills. Knowing how to deconstruct logic and arguments is an important skill to include in your SAT preparation and SAT coaching. The students have to keep all these details in mind and then seek an optimal strategy.

These are the main methods following which the SAT exam will test you in SAT Reading portions-

Big Picture or what we call the main points

The students need to recognize the main points of the passage they are reading. What is the overall purpose of the text that they have given you to read? Decoding the review and hypothesis of the text within a short period is a skill that will come with practice.

Details or Little picture

Through reading is needed as the SAT reading portion has questions about little details like a specific line in the passage. The question may ask you the meaning and the purpose of a specific line.


The SAT Reading portion may ask the test takers to figure out what one or two lines mean in the passage, Now these lines will not be overly difficult and you will be able to find out the meaning. Also, there will be only one correct answer and there is no vagueness to the questions asked.

Vocabulary in context

These types of questions mainly test your grammar skills as they might ask what a word in a specific sentence does. The words are not too difficult and most of them are common words we use in our daily lives. But there may be a tricky aspect in the sense that these words may not be used in the meaning that we are used to. Be sure to read carefully and concentrate on your SAT coaching.

Author technique

The SAT reading portion may also test you on whether you can figure out what kind of time the author intends to convey. The questions will ask you about the technique and style of the given passage, and often they might ask you to contrast the author’s opinions too.

Evidence support

The questions may ask you to identify the best line that supports your answer in a previous question. An evidence question can ask for support for any of the previous questions you have answered. So skipping questions is not recommended in this section because many questions may be interrelated. These questions are mainly designed to check the thinking skills of the SAT taker but these may also contain traps to fool you.

Data Analysis

Be sure to include these types of questions in your SAT preparation and SAT coaching as these questions refer to numerous charts and diagrams. They may ask you to find a diagram in support of a statement. You need to learn how to analyze several kinds of graphs appropriately.

These are the most common types of questions present in the SAT reading section and knowing these types will help you in your SAT preparation and the approach to each passage. The test aspirants should take numerous mock tests to help their SAT reading portion while managing time.

SAT Reading: Different Approaches/Methods

Some students have tried and tested several methods and only a few methods have worked for them. The SAT students should take methods into account and try them themselves when they take mock tests. Many test-takers prefer to read the passage thoroughly first and some students try to read the questions first and then read the passage. Some students have tried and tested the method of going back and forth between the passage and the questions, and now you have to decide what works best for you.

As mentioned before, in the SAT Reading portion, the students have to read five passages and answer 52 questions based on these passages. There are a few steps mentioned below, the students should give them a read and determine what approach would suit them best.

Approach one

Many people swear by the standard method of reading the questions first and then moving on to the passage. This approach will give you an idea of what to look for before you even start reading. Deep reading is not the primary aim of the SAT test-takers, their only job is answering the questions efficiently so be sure to implement your laser focus in SAT reading portion. Reading the questions first will help you immensely with the big picture or main point questions.

The detailed questions are pesky but you can mark those lines which you think may be important.

Approach two

If the students take the time to read the blurb that comes with the passages in SAT Reading portions, then they can figure out the context of the passage quickly. If you gt to understand the context ahead of time, you can tackle the tone and style questions of the passage easily.

Approach three

Time is of the essence and you should try and quickly read the passage. Some students can even skim-read the passage and they tend to concentrate on the last lines of the introduction and the first lines of the several paragraphs. Keeping an eye out for transitional phrases like however and but will help to answer the questions.

Whenever we are interested in a topic, you understand it better. The SAT coaching and SAT preparation will work on changing your mindset and how you approach problems so that you can b truly interested in what you are reading and thus you can be able to answer the questions relating to the passages too.

Approach four

If you think that one question is tricky and all the choices are plausible, then circle it at leave it at the end. Try and predict the answer before you look at the options as the options are mainly designed to confuse you in the SAT reading section.

Don’t think that the data analysis questions do not need a thorough understanding of the content, because most of them are looking for evidence for some statement related to the passage. Try and answer all the questions in your test booklet and transfer all of them to your bubble sheet. Make sure that there is enough time for you to do all of this.

Approach five

After every question is dealt with be sure and go back to the remaining questions that you have left circled. In most cases, you will have the capacity to answer them now because you have a greater understanding of the passage because of answering the remaining questions. Then transfer everything to the bubble sheet.

SAT Reading Tips and Strategies

Wrong answers

Eliminate all the wrong answers first. If a student has to overly rationalize the support for one answer then it is probably not the correct one. the other options are there to distract you, there is only one correct answer.


Do not go with just your intuition, be sure that you have evidence to support your answer. This SAT Reading portion is not there to test our existing knowledge level, just your reading, and comprehension. So all the answers you need are there in the passage itself. And thus you will be able to find evidence for the correct answers right away.

Even if all the questions may not lead to an evidence support question, thinking this way will ultimately help you score high in the SAT Reading portion.

Data interpretation

The students can practice their data interpretation by looking at the problems in ACT Science questions. They may be more specific but they look for the same skills of interpretation.

These are all suggestions that may help SAT test-takers in their SAT preparation. Aside from these approaches, any student can incorporate the methods they think suit them the best.

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