The Need to Read
The best way to prepare for the Critical Reading section
is to read. From the moment you read this sentence until the day
you take the SAT, you should carve time out of your life to read.
Read magazines. Read newspapers. Read books.
You already know how to read. But for the new SAT, you
have to read critically, and that’s a different
skill. You need to develop an eye and an ear for the kinds of things
the Critical Reading section tests:
- Main idea: What is the main
subject of the passage?
- Argument: What position does the author take
on the subject? What is the main purpose of the
- Tone: What is the author’s attitude or feelings
toward the subject?
- Technique: What rhetorical devices (simile,
metaphor, personification, etc.) does the author use to convey his
or her tone, main ideas, and argument?
In our chapter “The Long of It,” we offer tips on how
to turn ordinary reading into productive Critical Reading preparation.
We show you how to train your critical reading
muscles so that when the SAT comes around, all you’ll have to do