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How to improve critical reading and writing scores?

ExiliusExilius Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
As the title suggested, is there any effective way that I can use to improve my critical reading and writing scores? Both of them are in the low 500's right now and my goal is to get them into at least the low 600's. Any specific studying methods I can use to improve my score would be very helpful. Thank you.
Post edited by Exilius on

Replies to: How to improve critical reading and writing scores?

  • risuburisubu Registered User Posts: 1,580 Senior Member
    CR: read newspapers, memorize all 400 words of Direct Hits, and take notes while reading long passages. (the notes only have to be a word or two. just the main idea of the paragraph.). Also for paired passages: read the first passage, answer all the questions for the first passage. Read the second passage, do all of its questions. Then do the questions that ask about both passages.
  • tomatox1tomatox1 Registered User Posts: 911 Member
    I hate it when people say "read good fiction!" etc. Good fiction takes a long time to read. A 200 page book should take 6+ hours to read unless you utilize speed reading techniques. But then again, if you utilize speed reading techniques, you'll skip over difficult words. Reading a word in context will not make you memorize it. Even if you read up a definition of a word you will not memorize it. If you go online and make vocab lists, study them, use them in real life, etc., maybe you will memorize them. You might as well just use a vocab lists, as it is quicker.

    There are also those who say that reading "good literature" will improve your SAT reading comprehension skills. Hogwash! If you read a book merely to enjoy a good plot, you will not have read it for the SAT and it will benefit you none. If you read it merely for the SAT, you might as well be doing some SAT practice problems. If you read it for both the SAT and for a good plot, then you, sir, will have spent time well, but not superbly. To write an essay or short paragraph describing the author's purpose and tone while reading a chapter, that is precisely what you cannot do during the SAT, as there is simply not enough time. For all those SAT test prep company despisers, you make the point that it is not similar to the SAT, yet why do you not despise he who reads books to improve reading comprehension, when that is also simply not relevant to the real SAT?

    In addition, I hate it when people revere the blue book like it is god. It is the most annoying thing ever to scroll down a webpage with the title "What other good book besides blue book?" and read the reply "more blue book". If you're doing something remotely similar to real CR passages as in other test-prep books such as Kaplan or PR, it will help you. As Sherlock Holmes once said, "What one man can invent another can discover," just as it is not difficult to emulate something very similar to real SAT passages.
  • NiceboatNiceboat Registered User Posts: 419 Member
    Blue book is god though, imo.

    Why use anything else other than the real tests from the testmakers?

    There's the BB
    The old BB with 1 old test not in the BB.
    3 full length practice test online on CB's site
    PSATs you can buy online&& those you will take in your soph and Junior year.
    The CR passages of 10 Real SAT

    You really shouldn't do any CR passages from PR, Barron etc.

    "For all those SAT test prep company despisers, you make the point that it is not similar to the SAT, yet why do you not despise he who reads books to improve reading comprehension, when that is also simply not relevant to the real SAT?"

    I don't suggest reading random books in the hope of improving your CR score of the SAT. I also find that retarded. You don't answer questions when you passively read these books/newspaper/stuff and for all you know you can be making wrong assumptions and analysis while reading.

    I find the best way to memo vocab is to simply sit your ass down, make index cards, and drill those words in your head. That's what I did for Barron's 3500 vocab list during the summer 8th grade year. Though this is not practical for those who don't have time. I suggest just memo the 400 words in Direct Hits. I find the whole "read stuff and write down the words you don't know with a notepad thing that you must carry around with you the whole time" simply retarded. Why go through the trouble of amassing randoms words that you don't know that may or may not even be in the SAT when you can just study from pre-compiled list of words that are tested and known to be on the SAT very frequently.
  • Wood5440Wood5440 Registered User Posts: 391 Member
    I think tomatox needs a hug.
  • JuanitaRebelJuanitaRebel Registered User Posts: 337 Member
    SAT Writing score is incredibly easy to improve.
    I scored a 560 (no study, actual test)
    When I started studying I took a diagnostic practice test(Bluebook). Score= 600
    After one week of light studying I took 3 practice tests. Scores ranged from 680-730.

    I used an old Kaplan book I had(not the greatest review book, but it did the trick) and all I did was read through the writing section common errors and mistakes pages.
    Everyday when I would wake up I would go through the common mistakes for about 30 min. Then I would work through some practice problems for another 30 min. Then I would try to understand why I got any questions wrong. I repeated this for 3-4 days.
    Then I took my first practice test= 680. Second= 710 Third=730
  • risuburisubu Registered User Posts: 1,580 Senior Member
    Wood5440 wrote: »
    I think tomatox needs a hug.
    You can say that again. BB is pretty much the only book to use for practice tests. There are exceptions however.

    For the essay, this is really helpful. Just jot down some of the examples you would use for each prompt.
  • tomatox1tomatox1 Registered User Posts: 911 Member
    No thank you. I was raped by a midget when I was 2 and I married an overgrown fetus when I was 7. I divorced a year later after she cheated on me with a slick-haired Filipino.That explains my practice of stockpiling preadolescent boy mannequins in my closet. I also enjoy indulging pleasure in mutilating insects and stick them on my door as a warning. It also keeps away my neighbors. They avoid me anyway because they live ten miles away in an abandoned taco truck.

    risubu, your comment does not make sense.
    "I only eat cabbage. There are exceptions however."

    Kaplan and PR are perfectly good sources of practice. Many people strong dislike it, but that's because of their broken logic: "It's bad because it's different. That is all. Just different." Half the CR questions are the same "primary purpose questions," "What does X mean in line Y," "What is the tone of the passage", etc., goddammit. In the real test, you have the assurance that there is going to be a person, somewhere in the world, that gets a 2400. These test prep comps probably sell 5 million books a year, and somewhere there's going to be someone that gets a 2400. You think that a question can't be solved just because it's not from the BB, you're an idiot. The only thing that could be said is that these CR questions differ in difficulty from "real" ones. But you're practicing for the real SAT, and the difficulty level of these "fake" CR ones you take will prepare you for any questions that just happen to be one the same level of difficulty as real one are. There isn't much variation. If you're a BB fanatic like half you bozos out there, then go online and torrent some practice tests from some sites online.
  • Naqvi95Naqvi95 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Hey, im preparing myself for SATs and im worried about my grammar and vocab. DO any of you know any good fiction books that i can go through to improve myself for SATs? Not necessary fiction but just something interesting to read and go through.
  • bublububublubu Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    Barrons Writing Workbook for SAT grammar. Direct Hits for quick vocab. I recommend reading The Economist, Wired, and Scientific American.
  • kevin101996kevin101996 Registered User Posts: 66 Junior Member
    I suck as CR so I'll just give you some advice on writing.
    I'm a sophomore right now and this year I had scored 64M 50W 50CR(164)--- I know my score sucks..

    For writing, my score of 50 has improved to the 60s range after I had practice with the McGraw Hill's SAT-- this book is the best for Writing in my opinion. After I had gotten almost all of the improving sentences questions right in this book, I tried to take the actual test online on College Board and got 630 on the Writing section(64MC and 8 Essay)---I only did the writing section.
  • WallyWestWallyWest Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    da ol' sayin iz dhat practis makes perficts
  • IronFist17IronFist17 Registered User Posts: 40 Junior Member
    For essays, I used Tom Clement's How to Write a Killer SAT essay.
    I improved my essay score of 8 to a 12 with it.
This discussion has been closed.