SAT Advice (General) Post

How NOT to Study for the SAT Reading Section

In today's podcast, I push back against the ludicrous yet recently popularized notion that reading a bunch of great novels is the best way to prepare for the multiple-choice SAT Reading section.

Recently, some semi-well-known figures in the SAT prep community have been spouting the absolute nonsense that the best way to prepare for the SAT Reading section is to read a lot of novels. 

Although, like nearly every educator in the world, I believe strongly in the transformative and educational power of the written word, the fact of the matter is that by the time the SAT prep process has officially begun, it is too late to try to make up for lost time by reading a bunch of random books.

Yes, of course reading comprehension and speed matter, but so do standardized exam technique and strategy, including question-type familiarity, process of elimination, and answer-choice management.  In some cases, you can even learn how to use the multiple-choice nature of the exam to aid in your comprehension, for example.

So, what is the best way to prepare for and improve at the SAT Reading section?  It's taking as many real SAT and PSAT exams as possible, of course: there are currently over 60 real exams floating around online.  So long as you take the time to carefully review and categorize your mistakes between each attempt—including detailed observations on why each answer choice is correct or incorrect, and any takeaways from each question—your eventual improvement on SAT Reading is inevitable.


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