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SAT Critical Reading

SAT Reading

The SAT Reading Test measures a student’s skills in reading comprehension and analysis for long passages written on a high school and college level. The Reading Test consists of 5 passages with 10-11 questions per passage. Passage topics include History/Social Studies, Science, and US and World Literature. Four of the five passages are non-fiction and may include infographics.


We can divide the SAT Reading questions into three content areas:

  • Information and Ideas (e.g., citing evidence, determining themes, summarizing, interpreting words in context)
  • Rhetoric (e.g., word choice, point of view, and structure)
  • Synthesis (e.g., analyzing multiple texts and quantitative analysis)

      GLC’s Tips for the SAT Reading Test

      DO eat a good breakfast.
      The SAT Reading test is the first one you’ll take in the morning and it includes 65 minutes of continuous reading. Make sure you’re mentally prepared for this to be your first challenge on the SAT.

      DO practice reading news articles and other non-fiction pieces.
      The reading passages on the SAT are mostly non-fiction and similar in style and tone to news articles, so spend time reading these in order to better understand how authors build and support arguments.

      DON’T zone out.
      Be an active reader by underlining and taking notes on the passage. It’s easy to lose focus during long passages, and paying close attention ensures that you won’t have to read passages multiple times.

      DON’T waste time by reading for detail.
      You’ll want to focus on the main idea and the author’s central claim as you read through the passage. If you come to a detail-focused question, you can always refer back to the passage to find the answer.


      GLC’s Approach to SAT Reading

      In many ways, the SAT Reading Test is the hardest section to prepare for because its content comes from so many diverse fields. That’s why our curriculum focuses on teaching students skills that will serve them well regardless of the passage content being tested on the SAT.


      Developing Efficiency

      While pacing challenges many students on the SAT, it’s usually the biggest concern on the Reading Test simply due to the amount of reading that’s required. Coupled with the nearly four-hour length of the entire test, students are often too fatigued to focus properly on material in these sections. Our program helps students build active reading habits that help them stay fresh and pull the essential information out of each passage without wasting time on unnecessary details.


      Road Maps to Success

      Many students get into trouble on the Reading test because they approach all of the content the same way. While this can be reassuring, it simply doesn’t make sense to approach a History passage the same way you’d approach a Fictional Literature passage. Our SAT tutoring teaches students the best way to approach each type of reading passage, helping them both save time and answer questions more accurately.


      SAT prep is a great way for students to build the stamina, skills, and confidence to excel on the SAT Reading test. Click the button below to learn more about our programs, view class schedules, or register for SAT Prep.


      SAT Success at GLC!

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