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Summary and Review

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Summary and Review

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[edit section] Inside SAT Reading Comprehension Guide

  1. Reading a Passage
  2. Basic Comprehension Questions
  3. Analytical Questions
  4. Vocab-in-Context Questions
  5. Advanced Comprehension Questions
  6. Two Passage Questions
  7. More on Analytical Questions
  8. Extension Questions
  9. Summary and Review

[edit section] Summary and Review

We've spent some time the past few lessons visiting different techniques involved in the SAT Reading Comprehension section. We will wrap things up today by reviewing the key concepts in reading comprehension. Consider the following passage below for the purpose of the review:

1 Interviewing candidates for a job can be a

2 painfully difficult process. Can you imagine

3 any other situation where you would be forced

4 to make a character judgement on a person who

5 you have only known for a handful of minutes?

6 To make things worse, candidates tend to

7 dress themselves up by taking classes on how

8 to handle interviewers and respond to questions

9 with cookie-cutter answers and half-witted,

10 long-winded responses to simple questions.

11 All we really want is a little honesty - is

12 that so much to ask for? Apparently so. Just

13 to illustrate this point, I have interviewed

14 over fifteen candidates in the past two months

15 for a single position, and only one of them

16 lasted more than two weeks. Two weeks! Maybe

17 I'm just a poor judge of character, but

18 maybe there is something to this problem of

19 assessing a person in forty-five short minutes.

Now, this would be considered a shorter-to-medium length passage on the actual SAT. For our purposes, try to think about what the passage is saying. Which views would the author support? Which opinions would the author hold? What kind of person is the author? All of these questions should guide your reading of the passage.

Typically you would begin at the first question, which will likely be a comprehension question that is easier than the other questions. On the SAT, questions are roughly ordered in terms of difficulty and sequence in the passage, so comprehension questions on the first couple of lines are usually abundant here.

1. Based on lines 1-5, what is the author's attitude toward the process of interviews and job applications?

A. He believes it is an integral component of the employment process

B. He believes it is needless and a waste of time

C. He commends it for its accuracy in determining a worker's value

D. He questions its usefulness as a tool for assessment

E. He feels that it is too short in length

This is a classic comprehension question. You are given text line numbers and asked to draw a conclusion based on that text. All you must do for this question is just that - read the text and check the answer choices against the text! How about those choices?

  • A: Doesn't make sense because he criticizes it right away
  • B: Too extreme. Even though he seems to disapprove, he never disavows it
  • C: Not a good choice because no mention is made of redeeming value
  • D: The correct answer. Text: "...painfully difficult process... character judgment on a handful..."
  • E: Too extreme and unfounded. He never calls for the length to be longer. He only mentions that it is short. There is a difference!

Let's try another question. This time, it will be a vocab-in-context question, so watch out:

2. On line 7, the phrase "dress themselves up" is most similar in meaning to:

A. put clothes on

B. understate

C. procreate

D. misinterpret

E. embellish

Since this is a vocab-in-context question, we will apply our strategy:

  • 1. The context is: "candidates tend to dress themselves up..." meaning that:
  • 2. They over-state their credentials.
  • 3. A synonym for "over-stating credentials" is E, embellish.

Thus, the answer to question 2 is E.

How about those analysis questions? They like to throw analysis in the middle of the questions as most analysis questions are about medium in difficulty:

3. Which of the following is most similar to the "long-winded responses" on line 10?

A. Repeated political campaign speech

B. Emotional love letter

C. Legal document

D. Sports Magazine

E. Candid interview

Being that this is analysis question, your first step should always be to ask yourself: "What is this question really asking me to answer?" You should realize that this question pertains to the analogy between a "long-winded response" and one of the answer choices. You should also understand that the nature of a long-winded response is such that the number of words exceeds what is necessary to drive in the point. The result is pretentious, unnecessary, and tired chatter. A politican campaign speech is the only clear example (choice A) of such banter.

How about an extension question to wrap things up?

4. How would the author likely respond to the idea that simple body language reveals much about a person's inner thoughts and emotions?

A. It is further evidence to avoid interviews

B. It is an example of why interviews should always be part of the application process

C. Body language alone cannot determine a person's psyche

D. Body language is too complex for most people to understand

E. It should decrease the overall time required for assessment

This is a very tough question, but the answer is C. We don't like the answer either - but here is a clear case in which C is the "best" answer, if not very correct itself. Choices A, B, D, and E do not make sense because no text can support them. On the other hand, lines like "forty-five minutes" to describe the limitations of the interview describe the author's attitude toward such interviews and their limitations.

Well, we hope this guide on reading comprehension and the SAT Reading Section as a whole has been helpful to you. Go out there and take the remaining practice quizzes for the SAT Reading. Do your best on the SAT, continue to study, and always practice reading books and articles - it's the best way to become a better SAT reader!

[edit section] Additional Resources

[edit section] Inside SAT Reading Comprehension Guide

  1. Reading a Passage
  2. Basic Comprehension Questions
  3. Analytical Questions
  4. Vocab-in-Context Questions
  5. Advanced Comprehension Questions
  6. Two Passage Questions
  7. More on Analytical Questions
  8. Extension Questions
  9. Summary and Review

[edit section] See Also

SAT Sentence Completion Guide

SAT Wiki

SAT Home

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