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SAT tricks

melon390melon390 Posts: 698Registered User Member
How the hell do you anwser the SAT long passage questions? it seems to kill me, all the anwsers look right except maybe one, its more like a guessing test. And i lose focus when reading the passag...can anyone help?
Post edited by melon390 on

Replies to: SAT tricks

  • gigantegigante Posts: 581Registered User Member
    I dunno, the trick is to have energy to read those boring ass passages after 3 hours of sitting in a damn chair in a hot room. I go to starbucks before the test, and sneak some food and eat it during breaks, maybe a little candy or something (I did NOT tell you this).
  • aignamaignam Posts: 367Registered User Member
    Read the italicized blurb at the top of the passage which puts the whole passage in context, skim through the passage to attain the general idea, structure, and tone (GIST), then go to the questions. Do any questions with specific line references first, as they will force you to read specific questions first---by the time you finish those, the more general questions with no line references will be cake as you will have read and interpreted the vast majority of the passage already. ;-) There ya go slick. Also, take the vocab in context questions like sentence completions---read the sentence with the vocabulary word in it, replace the word with a blank, and decide what to put there. When answering vocabulary in context questions, read 2 lines above the line specified and 2 lines below the line specified, unless it is towards the beginning or end of the paragraph, in which case start at the beginning or end at the end. When answering general line reference questions, read 5 lines above the line specified and 5 lines below the line specified, unless it is towards the beginning or end of the paragraph, in which case start at the beginning or end at the end.

    There---you just got a whole 2 hours worth of ******** Princeton Review lessons.
  • gloaminggloaming Posts: 529Registered User Member
    One tactic that sounds really obvious but does help is to cross off answers you are absolutely sure are wrong. Then you are left with usually no more than two.

    Also, if you lose focus reading the whole passage, you might want to try reading the questions and then reading/skimming the passage. I guess it could vary by person, but I know that when I read the whole passage, then look at the questions, I end up having to go back and read some of it again anyway.
  • odanodan Posts: 469Registered User Member
    I've done it both ways (reading first and questions first) and I guess I've found it best to skim. Also, the italicized caption at the top usually will give you the answer to one of the theme based questions. Definitely read that.

    The only part I've had some trouble finishing is the long writing section. :(
  • Jimmy2588Jimmy2588 Posts: 700Registered User Member
    i havent tried it yet, but i like the first strat in up your score:

    1. read the questions first, but not the answers
    2. mark the lines that the questions refer too
    3. skip all general questions
    4. read the passage and focus on the marked lines
    5. answer the specific questions, then general questions.
  • NewbyrebornNewbyreborn Posts: 2,026Registered User Senior Member
    ^^ this is what princeton review said, can't believe i wasted my money (i already knew those before the course)
  • doctorrobertdoctorrobert Posts: 163Registered User Junior Member
    am i the only person who actually reads the passages?
  • thvudragonthvudragon Posts: 79Registered User Junior Member
    "am i the only person who actually reads the passages?"

    No, lol. I read them in full too!
  • NitinraoNitinrao Posts: 269Registered User Junior Member
    hey, i have posted help on a different thread and i will paste it here. I hope this helps...

    NOTE- REMEMBER this is about the old SAT. I didn’t review any books about the new SAT because i dont take it in 2 years. But you should able to use these strategies and modify it your way to use it for the new SAT.

    Should you read the question first or the passage?
    This has been one of the biggest questions for this verbal section. I strongly suggest that you read the passage first. This is because when you read all the questions first, you will have the questions bouncing around in your mind and it will be hard to concentrate on apprehending the passage. You will be eager to answer the question and will skip the other main details. As I have said before, the answer to question #4 maybe where you found the answer to question #2, and that sentence will give you clues to answer #4 and support the sentence (offered by the line numbers). But, if you have a really strong mind and would are good at remembering things, you should look at questions ONE AT A TIME. What really helps most is that you try both methods and observe which one works best for you.

    How much time should you spend on the passages?
    Long passages- For the long passages, you should use 10-15 mins. DO NOT CHECK ALL QUESTIONS OF ANY SUB-SECTIONS. You should check any problems you have doubts in, after you have completer the whole section. Look at the next question below to know why not to check the problems. Anyways, you should have at least 15 mins. spare time, so use it well.

    Short passages- strictly 6-8 mins on these. Nothing LESS or more. If you have trouble in one passage, move on to the next passage. but don’t completely forget about the passage you are having trouble on. QUICKLY skip the question that you are having trouble on and try the next question. If the next question is also difficult, look at all the other questions (GLANCE) and decide weather to skip the passage or not. If you skipped it, dont worry. If you have more time later, go back to it.

    Should you check the question of sub-sections?
    Most prep books will tell you to check the SC and other sub-sections, and so take more time in those sections. But I really think that you shouldn't check any other sub-sections. If you check every question, you wouldn't have time for the other sub-sections. But, since this is a multiple choice test, and you have used the process of elimination and your complete knowledge on the problem, why will there be a need to check? After all, (not in math) you have no other knowledge of the problem, more than you have right now. (Confusing eh?) What I mean to say is, you can't use other techniques like you use in math to verify an answer. a SC question is strictly understanding and vocab, unlike math's problem solving. So don’t check! If u really don’t understand y you need to check, PM me and I will tell you more. BUT YOU SHOULD FIRST CHECK CR QUESTIONS FIRST if you finish early. CR questions are harder and require more understanding. Every answer might seem right. That’s y you have to choose the "best" answer.

    READING STRATEGIES
    1. Read the italicized sent. and underline the setting. The setting will help you understand about the nature of the story.

    2. PREVIEWING THE PASSAGE- 20-40 secs., glace through the whole passage to understand the main idea of the passage and what the author is trying to tell us. You could either do this or read the FIRST and LAST sentences of each paragraph, and conclude the idea of the passage. previewing takes me about 30 secs.

    3. ACTIVE READING- 3-7 mins. This time, you are actually reading the passage. this will be faster than normal because you have previewed the passage and got the idea of it.

    4. REVIEWING- 30 secs. since you have read the passage faster, it is a good idea to review it. Glance through the whole passage again or just read the first and last sentences of each paragraph. Skip this if time doesn’t allow you to review.

    5. Answering- 3-7 mins. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT AND MOST TIME CONSUMING PART. Here, your job is to convert the answer choices to simple sentences in your mind, and test every answer choice, so it connects to the sentence with the offered like numbers. But this should be quick. THIS TAKES A LOT OF PRACTICE. If you practice enough, you will actually get acquainted with the SAT-type answers. I have asked so many people on CC for help, and most said to practice so much that you will get the idea of the SAT-type answers. This is absolutely true. You will also feel this id you have practiced so much that the answer is so obvious, and you are able to do all of them in 3-4 mins.

    What should you do if you don’t understand the passage?
    All it takes is practice. If you have 2 months or more, you should read books like crazy. You library books, most of the time, have reading levels of each book (school libraries always have this). Check that out. But if you don’t have time, you are kind of screwed. Eh……… your only choice now is keep doing reading passages from the old SAT like crazy. That will get you through understanding the SAT-type answers. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Remember that. The part of understanding the passage is to understand the questions. So get acquainted with SAT-type questions and more importantly, SAT-type answers. This will be easily, like I said before, by practicing over and over.

    How to answer questions?
    This is why you don’t need to read too slowly. The line numbers already take you to the main points. So use the line numbers! But be sure to not go too fast, because you need to comprehend many parts of the passages. Like I said before, the answer to #4 could be near #2, and the sentence near #2 will be supporting the line numbers of #4. You will realize this if you practice enough. Ok, to answer questions, you should practice so much that you get used to SAT-type answers (repeating this). All you have to do is connect every answer to the sentence of the line numbers offered, and see which answer matches “the best”. All answers might seem the right. But only one is the best.

    How do you focus on those boring passages?
    This part deals with having the knowledge of all the SAT passages type. You know, Science, History, Minorities, etc. Remember I told you to read book? Its not that easy. You have to read books based on all the topics the SAT is asking. So, get the knowledge of all the SAT-type passages and ask your librarian for the best books on each of those topics. Finish like 2 books or more every week for 2 months or more. This is the best way you can focus on the boring passages. When I read a science topic in CR, I am really comfortable because I love science and have read a lot of science books (and also school-science books). I also have a positive attitude about Science passages. So, as you can see, to earn a positive attitude about the boring passages, be familiar with it by reading the books that you don’t consider reading. I HATED NON-Fiction BOOKS as hell. So I had to read non-fiction books a lot and it helped me on minority’s and history passages.

    This is all the things I can think of right now. If you have any other questions, email me or PM me. I will be happy to help you. Remember, these are my opinions and it helped me a lot. I am a non-native speaker. So I had difficulties. I thank all people who have helped me on CC and I am passing all the strategies I have learnt to you.
  • NitinraoNitinrao Posts: 269Registered User Junior Member
    GUYS BE ABSOLUTELY SURE TO CHECK OUT takesat.com FOR MORE PREP. it is a site that gives free worksheets
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