SAT CRITICAL READING

PART 1

 

INTRODUCING THE SAT: CRITICAL READING SKILLS

 

Before the Test


What you do on your actual test day clearly matters greatly. However, what you do before the test, as you organize yourself and learn how to handle tests such as the SAT, may in the long run matter even more.

Six Months Before

 

EXPAND YOUR VERBAL HORIZONS

 

If you haven’t started studying for the test by this time, you’d better get started now. There’s no point killing yourself with last-minute cramming sessions and overnight flash-card marathons. Now’s the time to pick up some good habits that will expand your verbal horizons and increase your verbal skills.

Make a habit of reading a high-quality newspaper every day. Try The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, or The Washington Post, not something written in short sound bites like USA Today. Good newspapers, written for discriminating readers, exemplify what is best in journalism today. Note how their editorials address the day’s issues dispassionately, delineating schemes to rectify society’s ills.

Note also the number of boldface words in the preceding two sentences. We have highlighted them because they are key SAT words: you can find them all on our SAT High-Frequency Word List (Part V). Were any of them unfamiliar to you? Then turn to the high-frequency list. You can jumpstart your SAT preparations if you follow the directions given there for building your vocabulary. You have the time—get to it!