The College Board decided to ruin everyone's Friday night by sending out the March 10th SAT Scores. If you are a junior, this might be your first insight into what areas of the test you need to tighten up on. If you are a senior, this might be your last chance to send colleges your test scores. Either way, breathe, you are ok!
I took this test too! Here are some of my thoughts on the Reading Section of this test:
1. The reading was more challenging than past tests. Most of my students said they felt super confident about the reading until they hit "American Notes for General Circulation" by Charles Dickens. This was the fourth passage in the reading section and it was doozy. What made this passage hard was the old time English language and sentence structure. However, the premise was simple: Charles had a strong opinion about Americans and how they live their lives. If you were able to bypass the sentence structure and word choice, the questions for this passage were not that hard. A good summary and process of elimination would have helped you breeze through these questions. One strategy that I recommend (and actual did myself during this test) was to save this passage for last. Always remember that question 38 is not worth more than question 45 and doing the easy stuff first, allows more time to be spent on more difficult questions.
2. I still hate science I took AP Biology in high school and dreaded every second of that class. I have never been a fan of animals or their anatomy. So the reading passages on zebra stripes and gut bugs had me doing a hard eye-roll during the test. The biggest takeaway from these sections were be very careful about how you interpret graph data. The SAT doesn't expect you to be a statistician but they do expect you to have a fundamental understanding of how to read a graph. Depending on where you are in the test, will determine the difficulty of the question. If a graph question comes early in the question order, the conclusion you need to draw from the graph is fairly simple. If it comes later, expect to do some more critical thinking.
3. You need to know words! While you can't study the dictionary in order to prepare for the SAT, the test does expect you to know words and the various meaning that words can have. For example, the word regard can mean to show respect for, to look at, or in reference to. Context matters when determining what a word means. Look for context clues in the sentences preceding a word and in the sentences proceeding the word. Once again, question order matters! Don't fall for Trap Queens when choosing your answer.
The Reading Section on the SAT is difficult because you probably don't like the content. Don't let Charles Dickens or Zebra Stripes keep you from getting your 1600.
The Coach Kam Method has a strategy for this section as well as other sections of the test. Sign up for a workshop or private tutoring today!