Before we get to our step methods
for passages and items, we’d like to introduce a critical
skill that is key to your success when tackling RPs: skimming.
Because of the time constraints, SAT reading is not like
normal, everyday reading. Normal, everyday reading means
reading every single word of a passage at least once. Skimming means
reading only some of the words in a passage and letting your eyes
dart across the rest.
We know you know how to read—but do you know how to skim? Many
students are never taught this valuable skill. The key to skimming is
breaking the habit of reading a passage word for word. This is an essential
skill for succeeding on RPs, because it leads to significant time savings.
It is one of several essential strategies you’ll
need to maximize your score.
Here’s how you do it:
- Read only the first and
last sentences in paragraphs.
- Circle or underline signpost words or key terms. Terms
deemed as “key” will vary from reader to reader, but the idea is
to identify some important terms, as well as those important signpost
- Use your pencil to help you break the habit of reading
every word. Move the tip of your pencil across the lines of text
quickly enough to make it impossible for you to read every word.
This forces you to skip over some words and phrases, which means
you are actually skimming.