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How to Attack the SAT Critical Reading Section Effectively

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Replies to: How to Attack the SAT Critical Reading Section Effectively

  • Science GeekScience Geek Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    "Direct Hits is vouched for by many and proven to be most effective, though I personally used Princeton Review's Word Smart I and II cover to cover (perhaps not as efficient as the previously mentioned title)."

    What are these programs and where can I get them? Thanks!
  • NoitaraperpNoitaraperp Registered User Posts: 608 Member
    jubilant wrote:
    Noitaraperp, I read that and I've tried doing that but it hasn't proved to be very successful yet. Is it just a matter of practice, then?

    Entirely a matter of practice. After I sat down to think out my method two years ago around this time, using the method felt really awkward and time-consuming. About ten or so tests later, I couldn't imagine switching methods - its accuracy and efficiency are great once you get really comfortable with it.
  • motivated_101motivated_101 Registered User Posts: 750 Member
    ^ actually your method has already started working for me. and i've only have been using it for 5 sections now. I used to get 3 wrong easily on the passages, but with this strategy i've already brought it down to 1!
    THANKS
  • kraienkraien Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Noitaraperp, out of curiosity, and I know that all prep books have their pros and cons... What prep books did you use? I know you mentioned using the PR vocab lists and the Blue Book but would you consider the like the top 3 books to use (BESIDES the Blue book)? On the CC forum I get the feeling that PR and Barrons arent as endorsed as Grubbers or RR. However, since you used PR, I was just wondering if you thought it was better than Grubbers and RR.
  • stuntburnstuntburn Registered User Posts: 225 Junior Member
    hey,Noitaraperp. I ended up trying this method, and felt after I reached a line reference, answered the question and went back to reading, my focus was not there and I was having trouble. for instance there were about 3 line reference questions and after each one I ended up going back and reading the passage again because I was lost and confused. Is this a beginner thing that I will eventually get used to?
  • yseon92yseon92 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    i was getting so depressed because i kept on scoring around 500s.
    This post was a life saverr! thank you so much :)

    Do you think i can still get a high score like you even though english is my second language? ( if i try really really hard? )

    and how long did you study everyday for SAT?
  • ruvuittonruvuitton Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    Noitaraperp, I scored just around in the 500s in the reading math and the writing section, which I was very disappointed with. Im going to be a junior and will take my official sat very soon. I'm planning on taking three, and the last one is going to be about a year from now. So my question is, do you think one year is enough time to raise my score on all three sections? My goal is around 700s in all 3 sections. Lots of people told me that it would be impossible for me to gain more than 300 points, but that obviously wasnt the case for you.how long did it take you to reach the perfect score and how much did you study each day? Also, how many vocabs do you recommend on memorizing daily? Did you study all three sections (reading, writing, and math) all each day or just one everday? I studied and took two practice tests which resulted with no improvement from the first.... Just how exactly did you do it?
  • orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    noita: about bubbling in per page: isnt it just as likely you'll mess up bubbling in this way? especially when youre in a rush near the end. plus youll have to switch to bubbling per question when time gets short which throws you off because of inconsistency.
    this is all just speculation (ive only tried it a couple times). just curious before i try it out
    also, do u do this for Math and WR sections too?
  • NoitaraperpNoitaraperp Registered User Posts: 608 Member
    stuntburn wrote:
    I ended up trying this method, and felt after I reached a line reference, answered the question and went back to reading, my focus was not there and I was having trouble. for instance there were about 3 line reference questions and after each one I ended up going back and reading the passage again because I was lost and confused. Is this a beginner thing that I will eventually get used to?

    Keep practicing. Eventually it will feel very natural. If you've been used to one certain way before switching, it's likely the first time won't go so well or will feel unusual. Try to stay open to new methods.
    ruvuitton wrote:
    how long did it take you to reach the perfect score and how much did you study each day? Also, how many vocabs do you recommend on memorizing daily? Did you study all three sections (reading, writing, and math) all each day or just one everday? I studied and took two practice tests which resulted with no improvement from the first.... Just how exactly did you do it?

    So I got my 2400 single sitting first time - I took it in March 2008 and had started studying in the July before. I really don't advocate sitting in on an SAT until you're really ready. Otherwise it's a waste of time and it could look bad if you do badly (you guys have score choice now, but some colleges choose to ignore it). I didn't study every day, but I had a pretty routine schedule I stuck to - it became easy after a while. Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays. I took a practice test almost every Saturday after lunch. I either reviewed it right after or the next day. Review of the test can often take 1-2 hours and you have to really understand each question (well, you guys know all of this). Monday and Thursday study sessions, which were very focused on a specific aspect of the test, were about two hours each.

    If you have trouble with vocab, I recommend studying vocab every day with 10 NEW words each day. Go through them until you can recall each definition and use each one in a sentence. The next day do 10 more words and review the 10 from yesterday - again you must recall each definition and use each word in a sentence.

    On Saturdays I took the entire practice test, but on the Monday and Thursday study days I focused on a single section, sometimes even a single type of question in a single section (for example, in Writing, I might have focused on sentence corrections for one day). If it's too scattered, then it's not useful.
    about bubbling in per page: isnt it just as likely you'll mess up bubbling in this way? especially when youre in a rush near the end. plus youll have to switch to bubbling per question when time gets short which throws you off because of inconsistency.
    this is all just speculation (ive only tried it a couple times). just curious before i try it out
    also, do u do this for Math and WR sections too?

    Messing up bubbling isn't really your main concern (although I did put it in the article) because these incidents are rare. Also, I think you're less likely to mess it up with this method, because you are looking at the question number and your letter answer, and therefore you are more likely to note when you skip a question (most common source of bubbling error). I've never had a problem with my bubbling using this method. The switching/inconsistency is fine because you're used to that after some practice. Primarily, it's the focus you must maintain on the CR passage and the questions, since by bubbling in on the other sheet after every question you switch your focus to another page each question. During the test, I didn't have space on my table for my bubbling sheet so I had to put it on my lap and pick it up every time I had to fill it. Therefore my method helped me out a lot in terms of my focus then. And yes, I do it for Math and Writing as well, though it's probably less crucial you do so for those sections, seeing as how most of the questions are disjointed and individual.
  • ruvuittonruvuitton Registered User Posts: 171 Junior Member
    So.. you raised up 300 points in just about 8 months? That's soo good.. like genius. haha. I have more questions though. On the reading, what exactly should your focus be? Understanding the passage, and the tone? Or just finding key words that would lead you to a correct answer choice? Cause when I try to understand the passage and the meaning of every sentence, I end up missing important key words and find my self re-reading the passage and the question again...
    And also, would you say that on the math section, it's more important to understand math or just get used to the sat questions? I don't exactly have the strongest problem solving skills. :O
  • NoitaraperpNoitaraperp Registered User Posts: 608 Member
    ^Well to be honest I didn't have much trouble with math (and writing was okay) - it was mostly just CR that killed me so I had the luxury of being able to focus largely on one section.

    Unfortunately, understanding the passage includes getting down the key ideas as well. Fortunately, it's much easier to get the key ideas if, as described by the method, after reading up to the reference point you go to the marked up question to re-focus on what you have just read. By making those small stops, trust me, you get a much better idea of the passage than if you read straight through - I retain very little by that. Practicing with the method should lead to really good retention of the material.

    I'm not going to address SAT Math here, but I find practicing math sections helps a lot, because so many questions are similar from administration to administration. For example, I've seen many absolute value inequalities when referring to a bounded range of values, and that even came up on my real SAT.
  • motivated_101motivated_101 Registered User Posts: 750 Member
    ^ what about for sat writing?
  • orange peelorange peel Registered User Posts: 647 Member
    noita: thanks for helping. so you're absolutely sure there is a distinguishable, significant difference if i switch to this new bubbling method in terms of focus? oh, and i cross out answers a lot so its a big mess after im done, so id have to spend extra time circling the correct answer to distinguish, as opposed to if i do it per individual i dont have to do that since im going directly to the answer sheet. do you still think it will be more beneficial if i switched method?
    p.s. on a more important note, for CR: I used to get around 4-7 wrong total, now im got 8+ wrong on 1 official test I just took. Any advice? I thought I was getting better but I dunno anymore. should i just keep persevering and doing more because I will get better even though it may not look like it? I am infact reviewing diligently afterwards
  • Smile614Smile614 Registered User Posts: 1,530 Senior Member
    Wow! Thanks Noitaraperp! I feel much more confident that I can kick some butt on these CR passages after reading all your suggestions. I usually miss around 5 or so in CR but I would like to get 750+ so I need to cut that down just a bit. I do better on the passages I'm more interested in but I'm gonna take your advice and make myself engaged and interested in all the passages..I'm sure that'll make a difference. In fact, I'm gonna do some CR passages right after this and test out the marking the references along the way strategy you mentioned :)

    Again, thanks a lot for all your help!

    Oh, and like the other posters, could you tell us some of the other prep books you used besides the BB? How was Grubers? Barrons, PR? I'm taking the SAT in Oct and I would love to know what other books I can use for practice tests.
This discussion has been closed.