New SAT Reading Tips

In 2016, a redesigned version of the SAT began implementation across the United States. The immediate implications: even those with experience at the SAT had to throw out some of their old ideas if they wanted to help students prepare adequately. But don’t worry, here are some top new SAT reading tips to keep in mind!

How To Handle New SAT Reading Questions

Reading comprehension is one of the most important skills to learn while preparing for the SAT. Once you understand the new SAT reading rules, you should have a better idea of how to prepare for these questions to maximize your chances of success:

Prepare to understand vocabulary in context.

The current SAT places less emphasis on isolated knowledge of words and definitions and greater emphasis of understanding words and phrases in their proper context. This can be a difficult skill to master, which is why it’s important to try out SAT sample tests and simulating the effect of reading a passage to get a better sense of the meaning of each paragraph.

Make an effort to understand writing structure.

The basic structure of an essay—introduction, topic sentences, supporting paragraphs, etc.—will help you get a sense of what the new SAT wants to quiz you on when it comes to understanding the structure of their reading sections.

Practice by finding selections of literature and writing your interpretations.

With a new shift toward reading comprehension over raw vocabulary, it’s more important to get a sense of what a passage means than it is to simply pile up a list of definitions and memorize them. The SAT reading section now wants students to demonstrate their ability to understand what they’ve read and put it in its proper context.

It’s okay to skim at first.

Skimming a section and then getting a sense of the questions after the fact might sound lazy. But it will actually give you a strong sense of what you should look for as you read the passage. There’s nothing wrong with this strategy, so long as you still put in the effort to read the passage and get the full sense of the context.

Retain the memory of the previous questions.

Since the new SAT reading section might now use questions that build upon each other, it’s important not to lose hold of the passage you were reading when you move to the next question. This can make it difficult to skip questions and return to them later—so work on answering the questions while the passage is still fresh in your mind.

A Private Tutor Can Help

The best tip? Make sure you adequately prepare for the new SAT reading section far in advance. Consider hiring a private tutor from Jantzi or even registering for an ACT/SAT preparation class that will have you ready for the new style of the SATs.