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Major Changes – SAT Reading Section

The New SAT has been formulated to evaluate basic critical skills students need to excel in life and succeed in their careers. Testing students on advanced vocabulary is not the need of the hour; equipping them to understand the subtle differences between common words is more important, along with developing skills and tactics to comprehend challenging passages. 

The new revised test pattern focuses on such comprehensions based on content relevant to that which students will have to negotiate at college-level courses.

Reading Passages Strategies:

1. Reading the questions first: One tactic that will work well with the reading section is moving straight onto the questions and returning to the passage. This technique is helpful as it aims to locate specific information in the text concerning the questions.

It ensures that test takers can save time and review any tricky and confusing questions.

2. Scanning and Skimming: Rather than spending most of the time reading the entire passage, one must focus on reading carefully the first and the last paragraph along with the first and the last sentences of each paragraph. This helps one to understand the main concepts and points. A more detailed reading can be done per the requirement of the questions being asked.

3. Less Focus on Vocab: The New SAT Reading section is free of any Sentence Completion Questions requiring an abnormally high vocabulary level. Test-takers now need to focus on only reading. 

So a good idea is to orient oneself with reading requirements by reading anything one can lay his hands on! However, a few vocabulary-based questions ask the meaning of a word as it appears in the context. Here again, read the context intently to determine how the word is used.

4. Analytical and Scientific Reasoning Skills: The passages are sometimes accompanied by charts and graphs, which evaluate the candidate’s ability to interpret the data presented. This can be easily tackled by practicing such questions from ACT science sessions. Another tricky question type is based on selecting the best evidence to support the answer to the previous question. 

This question forces the test taker to reconfirm the answer choice, as it must be based on solid evidence from the passage. One must follow the elimination strategy in such questions to narrow the options to reach the strongest evidence out of the four.

5. There is one thing to remember: be sure not to allow personal preferences or prior knowledge to influence your understanding of the content. Always read a few lines above and below the content questioned and try to grasp the purpose of the content rather than read between the lines in search of what you ‘think’ it means.

Trainers at Option support each student in understanding his weaknesses and channeling his energies and strengths to achieve the optimum.



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