A Complete Guide on SAT Reading Practice

Aug 20, 2021 | Turito Team USA


Your Guide for SAT Reading Practice 

The SAT examination has three main sections in which the Reading section is quite crucial and will impact the overall score. There are some sure-shot strategies where the student can improve their reading skills- thereby ensuring better practice for higher scores. Reading is an interesting skill that can actually save time and also improve test scores. Having good material access for reading practice is the most crucial step during SAT test prep. 

The role of high-quality SAT materials for reading practice: 

Reading is an important skill for sure. But the selection of the right material to practice reading is quite valuable as well. Choosing the right material that is good in quality, vocabulary, and sentence formation will improve the overall language skills of the student. This is the main reason why the student needs to select high-quality SAT material for reading.  

The reading section has two components essentially:   

  • Questions 
  • Passages 

The student should ensure that the difficulty level of the questions, as well as the passages, are of the same level- to ensure good practice and sharpening of the skills.  Along with using quality materials for reading practice, it is important to set realistic time frames while pursuing practice tests. One cannot emphasize enough the importance of doing practice tests and previous year’s papers to be confident for the main SAT examination. Keep in mind to have practical time constraints- so that the optimistic attitude will not be missed. 

 Time is an important resource when appearing for SAT, just like most competitive examinations. Managing the time in the right sense, and dividing it accordingly to complete all the sections well within the time limit is of high value.   

SAT Reading Test goes on for 65 minutes, which is comprised of 4 individual passages and 1 pair of passages. This pair will be made up of two shorter, related passages by different authors that address a similar topic or theme. Each passage or pair will be between 500 and 750 words, for a total of 3250 words. Hence, the student needs to be very attentive in reading, to catch the right information required to answer the questions and understand what the topic is all about.  

 Tips for SAT Reading Practice: 

  1. Apply the Reverse Strategy: Usually, the student gets tempted to read the whole passage in a zeal to understand what the topic says. But ultimately, one must remember this is a competitive examination and the number of correct answers will determine the higher score. Hence, go through the questions first and reverse engineer your way to reading the passage well. By reading the questions first, you will get a clear roadmap on how to read the passage- and extract the information that is only needed for answering a question.  
  2. Practice two forms of reading: There are two forms of reading which every language enthusiast is aware of:  word-by-word reading and skimming.  While word-by-word reading is time-consuming but gives an entire picture of the passage, skimming is a useful tool to get a quick idea of what the passage is talking about. Both these skills are useful for reading passages- and depending on the time constraints, and the individual reading preferences, along with the speed in answering the questions- the student should have a tailor-made approach when it comes to reading.  
  3. Set your priorities right: Reading and answering comprehension questions need the student to approach in a particular way. The student needs to prioritize answering the question right- over the idea of getting a good knowledge of the topic. Remember, SAT is a competitive exam and evaluates purely on how you answer the question correctly. Nothing else matters, except the right answer! A lot of students get carried away in gaining knowledge of the passage topic, forgetting about answering the questions correctly. Be wary of this trap and be alert in answering the questions right.  

 The student can either choose official sources for reading practice but fortunately, there is an ample number of unofficial sources that the student can follow for additional practice.  

 The College Board 

The first obvious way to ace SAT reading is by following the Official College Board questions. Their online resources in terms of practice questions are the best ones you can find and the website gives you immediate feedback on whether you answered a question correctly as well as detailed answer explanations.  

There is no other best way than an official board to get the best reading material online. Hence, the student preparing for SAT reading should first access the college board.  

Some of the unofficial sources are given below:  

  • Khan Academy: The popular platform for SAT prep has an ample number of sources for reading practice and they are strongly reliable. The student can download resources for reading and practice them regularly to ensure higher scores. 
  • Turito: Turito offers comprehensive material for SAT reading on a wide range of topics which will empower the student to score better in the section. The material can be downloaded in pdf format where the student can practice reading at their own pace. 
  • Prepscholar: Another popular source for SAT tutoring and test prep, Prepscholar also provides trustworthy information for reading practice. The student can get passages on various topics that the student can choose from. 
  • CrackSAT.net:  The website offers comprehensive reading material, and questions along with answer explanations from which the student can evaluate and improve in the section.  
  • Ivy Global:  For students looking for additional reading practice, Ivy Global is the best source to practice. They have ample additional reading sources that resemble the actual SAT reading section.   


SAT Reading Practice might look overwhelming in the first place for the students who want to score higher on the overall test. But with official sources, along with multiple unofficial sources that are available online, the students can easily get good practice with various passages from versatile topics to ace the exam with higher scores. 

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