Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Top 5 Test-Taking Tips for the New SAT Reading Section

For the first time in 11 years, in March 2016, CollegeBoard released an all-new SAT. The revised SAT has a completely new structure, scoring system, and objectives. 

At SpiderSmart, we want you to be ready to face the SAT with confidence and preparedness. Here are 5 test-taking tips for the new reading section:

1. Read for comprehension, then for identification. 

Before attempting to answer any questions, read the corresponding passage thoroughly in order to comprehend the material. Next, immediately go back and skim the passage for any key elements such as main ideas, statistics, thesis statements, etc. and annotate these elements. Annotation of significant information is key to success when taking the new SAT.

2. Identify key words in each question. 

Circle or underline key words that indicate the focus of the question being asked. Here are some commonly used key words:  “most nearly means”, “best describes”, “main purpose”, etc. This technique will help you zone in on exactly what the question is asking, and identify the correct answer choice. Keep in mind that more than one answer choice may be true, but not the correct answer for that question.

3. Annotate line numbers. 

In each question, underline any line numbers referenced. Then, refer back to the passage, and re-read and annotate the word(s), phrase(s) or sentence(s) within those line numbers. Careful consideration of the text provided in the framework within the line numbers is a crucial step in determining an accurate answer choice.

4. Eliminate any obvious wrong answer choices.  

If you know an answer is clearly incorrect, cross it out. Using the process of elimination will help you narrow down your options in order to choose the best answer choice. Remember that some answer choices may be true, but not answering the question at hand-therefore, they will be incorrect choices. 

5. If you get stuck on a question, don’t panic! 

Circle the question you are stuck on, and come back to it after answering the other questions that pertain to that specific passage. This tactic will help you clear your mind and allow you to renew your focus. There is no penalty for incorrect answers, therefore it is important that you consider the choices carefully and answer all test questions. If you get completely stuck on a question, then making an educated guess is better than not answering the question at all.

At SpiderSmart, we offer proctored exams, one-to-one tailored test preparation, and customized practice with official CollegeBoard sample materials.

Get in touch to start preparing for the new SAT today!

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