About The Reading Section

SAT Critical Reading

Remember, there are three (or four) sections of Critical Reading. The questions will come in the form of:

  1. sentence completion and
  2. passage-based questions

Some tips and notes for the Critical Reading section include:

  • Answer the sentence completion questions first as they take less time to answer.
  • Stay focused on one passage and its questions at a time. Finish them, and then go to the next passage.
  • If you’re stumped with vocabulary, try to gain clues from the context of the sentence, from the roots, prefixes, or suffixes, and then eliminate any choices.
  • Remember that the easier questions are first, but then they get tougher. This impacts your guessing/skipping strategy.
  • Read carefully. It’s better to take your time reading than to skim over. Take your time to read, read the question, then return to the passage and skim.
  • The answer to each question is always included in the text. Don’t choose an answer because it seems right. Choose an answer because it is supported in the text.

ACT Reading

Remember that there are 40 multiple choice questions given in a 35 minute period. The questions come from 4 reading passages. The 4 passages are of different types or topics:

  1. prose fiction
  2. social science
  3. humanities or arts
  4. natural science

Since reading is reading, the tips and notes for the ACT Reading section are the same as those for the SAT listed above. The one exception is that, since on the ACT you’re scored on how many you get right, you’ll want to answer all the questions.

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