SAT Reading Study Tips: How to Study

There’s often a myth that circulates about the SAT Reading Test that you cannot study for the exam. However, this post will dispel that myth and show you how you can perform at your peak on the SAT Reading Test.

  • First, Know the test

    The first thing you should do is become familiar with the Reading Test format. Over the 65 minutes of testing time, you’ll be reading 5 passages spanning the following genres: US/World Literature, History/Social Studies, and Science.

  • Read for at least 15 minutes every day

    It sounds simple, but getting regular reading practice (outside of normal school reading) will fine tune your comprehension skills before Test Day. Get started early, and make sure you are reading to your level—this could be classic works of fiction, articles from CNN or New York Times, or actual SAT Reading passages from a review book (see below).

  • Practice on test-like questions

    You will find many reliable review books and a few not-so-reliable ones at your local Barnes and Noble or Amazon. Once you find a reputable source of questions to call your own, work through as many passages and questions as you can. It’s especially important to work through full 65-minute Reading sections periodically to understand the pace you need to have to finish the section.

  • Study with friends

    Find a friend who’s taking the SAT. It’s always more fun to prepare together, and your friend may be able to help you see flaws in your technique that are not easily noticeable.

  • Special challenge: write your own questions!

    Once you’ve practiced enough to get a feel for test-like questions, pick a news article and try writing your own SAT Reading questions based off of it. This can help you get a glimpse into the ways test-makers come up with wrong answer types. If studying with a friend, you can even exchange articles and questions for some extra practice!