In this lesson, our professor Vincent Selhorst-Jones gives an introduction to critical reading. He discusses the breakdown, increasing difficulty, composition of questions, anatomy of a sentence completion question and reading question, order, and what to read.
Sentence Completion follows the normal rules for increasing difficulty, but Passage-Based Reading does not. Instead, its questions are (mostly) ordered based on where they appear in the text.
There are a total of 67 Critical Reading questions on the SAT. Of those, 19 are Sentence Completion, while the other 48 are Passage-Based Reading.
Each Sentence Completion question presents you with a sentence that has a blank (or two). It's your job to choose the appropriate word(s) to fit in the blank(s).
The Passage-Based Reading questions ask questions about a passage of text or (much less often) require you to answer a question involving two related passages.
If you want to improve on the Critical Reading section, the best thing to do is to read regularly. It will help your comprehension, vocabulary, and even increase your writing skills. Seriously: READ.
What makes the best reading material? Pretty much whatever you'll actually read on your own. If you want something that's like the texts on the SAT, try newspapers and magazines like Time, The New Yorker, etc. But the most important thing is to just read regularly.
Introduction to Critical Reading
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
Educator.com recommends The Official SAT Study Guide published by The College Board, the administrators of the actual SAT test. In it, you will find additional practice questions and a review of all subjects, along with 10 official SAT practice tests. Our instructors work through several of the practice tests in real time, going through their thought processes and test-taking tips.
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