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Some of the Best SAT Reading Tips and Strategies

Oct 19, 2022

Effective SAT Reading Tips for Section

In this article, we’ll discuss some effective SAT reading tips. Let’s begin. 

SAT reading tips for language section that includes both reading and writing expertise of English has high necessity when it comes to acing SAT. A lot of students find getting a good grip on the language quite challenging and scoring a neat 800 in the section becomes even tougher.


However, smooth planning and following up on useful SAT reading tips from previous SAT takers can be of great help to the current-year SAT aspirant.

While students do not have any issue with scoring up to 600 in SAT Reading tips for section, the spike from 600 to 800 is where the biggest path-breaker is present. It is also important to note that SAT has a single score of 800 for the Reading plus Writing sections combined.


Here are some of the most effective SAT Reading Tips that will not only help you score well in SAT Reading but also improve your overall score with great ease and perfection.

1. Know Why you Need an 800:

Usually, 1600 in SAT (800 for Language and 800 for Math summing up), is considered to be a perfect score. Interestingly, even a 1550 or 1590 is not considered by a top college when it comes to SAT.

The first step in scoring well SAT Reading section is to know why you need a full score. The motivation will bring you ideas on how to prepare and where the priorities are present.


Getting a good score in SAT Reading tips can make you relaxed about the other tougher sections such as Writing, and even Math. These nuances might look very small at first look, but they can give great reasons to prepare well and ace the SAT Reading section.

Also note that top schools such as Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Chicago accept nothing but above 770 in SAT Reading + Writing section. Couldn’t have more reasons to gear up for Reading prep, is it not?


2. Realize the Design of SAT Reading:

Having high subject knowledge may not always take you on the road to success in a competitive exam but knowing the rules and the design of the exam surely will.

SAT Reading test is designed in such a way that it tests the student’s abilities in various ways and strongly aims to confuse the student. Every reading passage on SAT has only a single correct answer and a lot of students have difficulty understanding this fact.


The exam also disguises the fact that there is one answer that is not ambiguous. Zeroing out on the options instead of worrying about the passage will take the student to a new level of excelling in SAT exam. However, the exam tricks with the usage of words making the student do guesswork to finalize the wrong answer. Be away from this, and you have got the SAT Reading section perfectly right.

SAT Reading Tips to Improve Your SAT Reading Score (2022)

  • Expect in mind

You’ll have 65 minutes to read five passages (from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences), and then respond to 52 questions.


The questions will test your ability to execute a variety of tasks, such as deciphering words from their context, recognizing why an author included a particular detail, identifying a passage’s primary theme, contrasting two passages, and even identifying data on a graph 

  • Select your order

The sequence of the reading questions is chronological rather than according to difficulty. Don’t be scared to skip a difficult question, and don’t worry if you can’t answer them all. Find out more about SAT methods for answering questions out of sequence. 

  • Read everything you require

You don’t have to waste time reading every word of the passage and attempting to get knowledge on the subject. Right there in front of you is the passage. As a result, alternate between the passage and the questions, concentrating solely on what you need to know rather than becoming bogged down in all the minor nuances. 

  • Check your opinions at the entrance

In an English lesson, you are frequently asked to express your own opinion while supporting it with the text. On the SAT, this is not the case. When you see a question that uses the words “infer,” “imply,” or “suggest,” be cautious. There will be enough of evidence to support the right response, even if the solution is not expressly mentioned in the text. 

  • Read each dual passage individually

A pair of dual passages—two shorter pieces discussing the same subject—will make up one of your science, history, or social studies passages. Ask questions on the first passage first, then the second, and finally the questions regarding both passages. By doing this, you’ll save time and avoid mixing up the two paragraphs when analyzing the possible answers. 

Some of the guidelines that can help the students in realizing the pattern of SAT Reading section are:

• Segregate the types of questions that the SATs, in a simpler language you can understand
• Look for effective strategies to solve these questions, using skills you already know and also improving on the new skills to be acquired.
• Practice, practice, and practice- there is no shortcut to this rule, and practicing more questions with similar patterns will gain your confidence in acing the SAT Reading section.

Get a better understanding of SAT Scoring: You might be the best expert in Language around your circles but without a clear understanding of how SAT Scoring works, the game is always on the losing end.

Understand the fact that SAT Scoring is grossly harsh and sometimes, missing just one question might cost you a loss of the dream score you are aiming for.

The safest rule to follow here is to aim for perfection- that might take you somewhere near to the destination without much pressure.

Aim for a perfect raw score of 800 for every practice test, and average out on the scores for the reading section. This is one smart way to score better and get an overall jump in the final SAT score.

For example, if the raw score is 35, the student will have to answer 7-8 questions correctly in the additional sense to get a perfect 40.

Know your strengths and weaknesses: Every person is gifted with a unique set of strengths and the natural ability to be good at either Reading or Writing without much effort.

Are you good at reading? What are the steps needed to improve reading abilities and are you losing out on time management skills on this path? These questions will not only identify the weak areas but also gives an additional push to the student to be aware of the prep strategies.

Every student has different flaws in SAT Reading that are unique to the person. Additionally, some people fail at having good strategies for tackling the passage questions. Some students struggle in managing their time correctly and run out of time before getting through all the questions -leading to a dissatisfactory SAT Score.

SAT Reading Strategies 

Strategy 1: Recognize Your High-Level Weakness: Time Management or Passage Strategy? 

  • Take only the Reading section of an approved SAT practice test. The whole collection of no-cost practice tests is available here. 
  • Set a timer to count down the 65 minutes for the Reading segment for each session. Think of it as a real test. 
  • When the allotted time for that segment has passed and you are prepared to move on, do so. Work as long as you need to if you’re not ready to move on.
  • Mark each new or modified response with a distinct note that reads “Extra Time” 
  • Use the answer key and score chart to grade your test when you are ready, but remember that we need two scores: the Realistic score you received under normal testing settings, and the Extra Time score.
  • For this reason, you marked the questions that you responded to or altered during the extra time. 

Strategy 2: Learn to Get Rid of Three Wrong Answers 

  • I found that this approach had the greatest impact on improving my Reading score. It drastically altered my perspective about passage question types.
  • I spent some time describing earlier how there is only ever one clear solution on the SAT. This has a significant impact on the method you should employ to locate the correct SAT Reading tips.
  • The alternative view is as follows: Three of the four possible answers are completely incorrect, and four. The other three answers are all completely incorrect, leaving only one that is.
  • Do you know how you strive to narrow down the options before coming up with a select handful that all look equally likely to be accurate? Well, this might work, but then again, this might work too.
  • Put an end to that. You’re not removing answer options effectively enough. Keep in mind that any bad decision might be removed for a variety of reasons.
  • You need to change your perspective on reading comprehension questions. Find a justification to rule out three possible answers instead. “Can I justify excluding this response option? Possibly this one?” 

But here are Some of the Steps that can be applied for a Higher SAT Score in the Reading Section:

• Take only the Reading section by choosing an official SAT online. This can make you more focused on the problem areas.
• Use a timer and count down the 65 minutes for the Reading section.

Remember to treat it like a real test, and it gives more seriousness to acing the examination.
• If you have crossed the individual time deadline of 65 minutes, skip that section and you’re 100% ready to move on, then do it with ease. If you’re not ready to move on, keep on working for as long as you zero into the right answer.

Mark it with a special note as “Extra Time” for each new changed answer you have made.
• Using the answer key and score chart, grade your practice exam.

But here, we are not scoring for individual subject cut-offs but need two crucial scores
1) Normal timing conditions, which lead to a Realistic Score
2) The Extra Time score. The score where you marked the questions you answered or changed during Extra Time.

Understand the strategies behind scoring 35 in Extra Time Score and how to apply it to the total SAT score.
A flowchart guide given below can be greatly helpful in scoring the final dream score for SAT Reading Section and the final score as well.

Was your Extra Time Score a 35 or Above?

If NO (Extra Time score < 35), then you have strategy and content weaknesses. All the extra time in the world couldn’t get you above a 35, so your first angle of attack will be to find your weaknesses and attack them (We’ll cover this later).
If Your Extra Time score is greater than 35 marks then:

Was your Realistic Score 35 or Above?

If the answer is NO (Extra Time score > 35, Realistic < 35), it shows that you have a difference between your Extra Time score and your Realistic score, and if this difference is more than 3 points, it shows Poor Time Management Skills.

The problem area should be identified by taking time and understanding where the skill is not helping. Practicing more questions in the problem area will save much time.

If YES (both Extra Time and Realistic scores > 35): There are an increased number of chances of getting an 800 for the SAT reading section.

Now, draw a Comparison between your Extra Time and Realistic score, and if they differed by more than 2 points, then you would benefit from learning how to solve questions more quickly.


SAT reading tips and useful prep strategies like this come to great use during the exam day to not only raise confidence levels but also improve where the final SAT Score is aimed at.

Remember to give priority to practice tests more than acquiring knowledge- which will come to help in getting the dream score.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. How can I improve my reading SAT? 

In the SAT, three factors impede learners’ comprehension of a given text: limited time, passages that may be too long, and topics that are dry and boring. The key to improving your SAT Reading score is to use the most appropriate approach. This means you should reconsider and change your approach to the SAT Reading test.

2. How can I reduce my SAT reading mistakes?  

Every mistake on a test has a reason. If you don’t understand why you missed a question, you’ll repeat the mistake. Too many students with SAT Reading scores ranging from 400 to 600 refuse to study their mistakes. It’s harsh. 

3. How do you focus on the SAT reading? 

The questions in the SAT Reading section that ask you to define words in the context of the passage are the most direct ways that your vocabulary will be examined. 

4. Does reading books improve SAT scores? 

Reading books can help you get better grades. The SAT is a timed exam, so to finish all of the questions, you must read at a specified speed. 



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