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SAT Critical Reading
Transcript of SAT Critical Reading
Each consecutive passage is harder than the one before it, but the questions following each passage are NOT arranged from easiest to hardest.
Speed-reading tricks usually teach you how to skim a text by skipping details, but for CR questions, you must know details. Do not be intimidated by scientific jargon.
Jargon is either irrelevant, or it is defined within the passage.
If it is defined, it's most likely in a question. The Scientific Passage The questions tend to be in the order in which the answers appear in the passage.
Remember your skipping strategy? Good! The Loooooooong Passage The Double Passage This passage may be about literature, music, sculpture, a particular artist, etc..
The author may offer criticism, but the overall point will be complimentary (unless it is a double passage). The Art Passage This passage is an excerpt from a literary piece.
Look for the author's style (how things are said vs. what things are said) and tone (the author's attitude toward the material)
Read carefully for detail, but don't read too deeply. The Fiction Passage After reading 1-3 paragraphs (depending on length), stop and write a 1-3 word summary.
Writing each summary should take no more than 5-10 seconds.
For many readers, this increases understanding of the passage. Strategy 2- Note Taking This gives you an idea of what to look for as you read.
Read only the questions, NOT the answers.
If the question is about a specific line, mark it.
As you read, mark answers that you find, but do NOT stop reading. Strategy 1- Start with the Questions This passage will discuss a period or trend in history.
The author will offer an interpretation on the trend/period with supporting examples.
The author may refer to experts who agree/disagree. Be prepared for questions on this. The Historical Passage You will read two passages that support, compliment, or oppose each other. Work in the following order: Read the introduction.
Read passage 1.
Answer passage 1 questions.
Read passage 2.
Answer passage 2 questions.
Answer questions on both passages. Examples:
The primary purpose of the passage is to...
Which of the following titles best summarizes...
Review the introductory and concluding paragraphs
to help determine the main idea.
Main Idea Questions Two Passage Comparison Questions Example:
In line 24, "sense" most nearly means...
Go back to the line and those around it to look for context clues.
Many words have more than one definition. Don't fall for that trick! Vocabulary in Context Questions Example:
The author cites specific examples of slavery primarily to...
Look for adjectives and strong words that suggest the author's tone.
Author's Logic Questions Example:
It can be inferred that the guilds were organized as they were because...
Try to answer before looking at the choices, then look for a choice that matches your answer.
Read Between the Lines Questions Examples:
According to the passage, Margaret asked Mrs. Horns opinion because...
According to the fourth paragraph, most economists feel that...
These are fairly easy. If you're unsure, go back and try to back up your answer choice with evidence form the passage.
Fact Based Questions Examples:
How would the author of passage 1 respond to the idea of "crazy spoons" in Passage 2...
Which statement is best supported by both passages...
Determine if the passages generally agree or disagree.
Determine how the main ideas of both passages relate. What do they have to do with each other?