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How to improve my critical reading score

jakohenjakohen Posts: 11Registered User New Member
edited September 2011 in SAT Preparation
okay so my critical reading score is pretty bad. I have a 590 on reading, 730 on writing, and 800 on math. I've been wanting to raise the reading score but I don't know how i'm studying is really effective (just doing practice tests on reading sections only). I dont have big issues on vocab because i usually get most of them right but I have a hard time on the passages. Is there a certain method that i should learn to answer the questions from reading passages quickly and correctly? I wish to get like at least high 600's :( im taking my next SAT on october btw...
Post edited by jakohen on

Replies to: How to improve my critical reading score

  • ColleenLColleenL Posts: 47Registered User Junior Member
    look at why you are getting questions wrong, the issue is specific to you a lot of people look at the questions before reading and then read only parts relating to the question before answering on the ones where they can do that. You probably should look up any words like theme or whatever if you don't understand what they are looking for sometimes when thy ask you about it. Also, read a lot, it sounds simple but reading speed makes a big difference. hope this helps!
  • TsukirinTsukirin Posts: 27Registered User New Member
    If you only want to get to the high 600's, then I suggest you read each question first, then go to the line mentioned, and try to figure the answer out. Any answer that seems really extreme (these are definite answers, using words like 'all' or 'none') or is not mentioned in the passage are immediate cross-outs.

    That pretty much gets me up to the low 700's.
  • braniacbraniac Posts: 404Registered User Member
    I disagree with the above. I honestly think you should read the passage because a lot of the questions are about the passage in general. Sure a few questions are about specific words or lines but even for those questions it helps to know what the whole passage is about.

    On top of that, you can look at a few of the guides here on CC such as silverturtle's guide which is a great read for the CR section.

    Other than that just don't over think the questions. A lot of them are a lot simpler than you might think and no matter what the information is given to in the passage!
  • SilverAuroraSilverAurora Posts: 178Registered User Junior Member
    I have the same problem! My math score is 800 and my writing score is 730ish but my CR score is around 560. :( No matter what I try I just can't seem to get the questions right.
  • brainblipbrainblip Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    Here is the magic solution:

    Read some literature written by authors known for their subtle style. Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my favorites, definitely check out Artist of the Floating World and The Remains of the Day.
  • luther009luther009 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    I have been practicing and preparing for the sat 1 but i wasn't making it.The CR is promising for me and the writing say little to my university education.i need help from people who can guide me through for this coming SAT date.
  • Aceventura74Aceventura74 Posts: 187Registered User Junior Member
    Jakohen,

    I've been posting my reading guide on various threads, and it seems to be helping a lot of people. I hope it helps you too:

    Passage-Based Questions:
    Let me start by telling you I have the same problem. I can't stand my friends who tell me "it just comes to them naturally." I've done a lot of improvement on CR myself. I'm in the process of going for the 800 on CR right now. The best advice I can give you is you need to do them untimed at first. You can't expect to just rush in head strong with 25 minutes and to analyze everything - its impossible. Slowly take it at your own pace. Do about 2 to 3 sections of isolated CR per day. You must go slow. Whether its the lengthy dual comparative you're facing or just analyzing a small article, you must go slow. Really read, and then answer the question. Plain and simple. I've found that underlining the groups of lines can help (lets say a question says referring to lines 5-9, go underline those and pay attention to them whilst reading). Now, lets attack the biggest problem: You're looking at the selected amount of lines, you're looking at the entire passage, you just can't narrow any, or at best 2 answer choices out. Now what? Remember: the answer is staring back at you. Here is why you don't want time pressure at first: you can calmly assess the answer choices and clear your head at this point. Cliche, but I just take a deep breath and count to 10 nice and slowly. I'll look back at the question and attack it THEN. Don't stress yourself with time because you just won't improve as fast as you want, or, need. I know this sounds cheesy and you might be thinking "I'm no idiot, Aceventura74 has no idea what he's thinking! He's helping people who get 400s get a 500..." This method helped me go from 450 to 730. So I'm speaking to you if you're going for 1800 or 2400 my friend. Seriously, get rid of time, do isolated sections, and don't just brush over the answer explanation. Read EVERY WRONG EXPLANATION. Don't be like "Oh I knew it was b or d, its no problem" and hurry up. This will take a lot of time. But soon you'll be getting that constant 700 you want.

    Sentence Completions:

    Ah, another thing I hate. I'm a math man. I can learn any formula and navigate, factor, and graph in my head. Give me a _______ in a sentence and I'm a deer caught in headlights; or at least I used to be. Direct Hits is the way to go. If you have a long time (1 year or 6 months+) get a hold of Barron's Gigantic flash card set. Not sure if its still printed, but I recall hearing about a large set; about 3000 or 5000. If you memorize those words, you won't ever be guessing, i assure you that my friend. But, if you're like most people, you're pressed for time, because you're a genius who started studying last minute =P (guilty of that myself...for multiple exams xD). Get Direct Hits. I know people "rave" about these "awesome 100 (or small #) of flash cards that are GREAT!" BS. Direct Hits has a 70% "hit rate;" meaning 70% of the words show up and most students excel. So, get the Direct Hits books and start studying. Hope I helped, best of luck my friend !

    ~Aceventura74
  • allanyueallanyue Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    i seem to have problems with critical reading score, when I do critical reading my score always falls in the 500-600 range. i haven't taken the SAT yet, but on practice exams i usually fall between 570 to 620 that i did so far. i don't have major problem with sentence completion but my weakness is passages. is it possible to improve the CR score to 700 before the Dec. 3rd test date?
  • GhastnGhastn Posts: 391Registered User Member
    The way i see it ;i t depends on my mentality.The difference between the time i got 750 and the once i got 650 was my mood:i was stressed, pressured by time, thinking that could come to me in the real test , sentences becoming blurry, having to read it twice to get it and just messing it up>>I'm still struggling against it
    .However,sometimes, when i am relaxed ; i just do them all ; i tackle them ferociously thinking of this as my prey and having fun imagining my great score;;i t makes a 100-points difference!!!
  • indianguy94indianguy94 Posts: 439Registered User Member
    Guy above me is right.

    When I'm unconfident, thinking that CR is my worst section and I assume I will do horrible, I end up doing bad.

    However, after reading some prep material, the boosted confidence and feeling of certainty helped me score atleast 50 points higher.
  • SamonuhSamonuh Posts: 1,051- Senior Member
    I'm at the point where 2/3 of the questions I get wrong in Reading are sentence completions. I regret my decision to not study SAT vocab...If I could nail those vocab questions I could easily get a 740+...
  • indianguy94indianguy94 Posts: 439Registered User Member
    OMg same here ^... I find direct hits not as useful as it seems because the vocab I get wrong are usually the ones with the easy words, but ambiguous sentence structure which causes me to reread etc.
  • SamonuhSamonuh Posts: 1,051- Senior Member
    ^^^I'm the opposite. I just don't have broad spectrum when it comes to vocabulary. When I stare at those last two sentence completions in each section, I have no idea what to do...I literally don't know 1/2 the words in those Hard questions.
  • 1620SAT1620SAT Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    chill dude my SAT score is just fine.......
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