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SAT Critical Reading

Ah, the SAT Critical Reading section! It’s known for it’s enigmatic and dense reading passages, and the thought of it can make even the most sane high schooler cry. But the good news is we’re here to help and have just what you need to succeed on this section of the test!


What’s on the SAT Critical Reading Section?

On this section of the test, you’ll find:

  • 3 sections, 70 minutes long
  • One 20 minute section, two 25 minute sections
  • Passage based reading: 48 questions
  • Sentence completion: 19 questions

Now, what exactly do you need to study to prepare for all the sections of the test? You’ll need to develop roughly 3 main skills:

SAT Reading Comprehension

To master this skill for the test, you’ll need to practice, well, reading! No surprise there, but here are some additional skills you should also develop:

  • Always read the passage first and find the main idea
  • Practice creating your own mini-narrative of what you have just read
  • Go for the easiest questions first
  • Use the process of elimination when necessary
  • Read as much as you can in the time leading up to the test

SAT Sentence Completion

These questions can be quite tricky–in fact, you’ll often find that the hardest question on each SAT is a Sentence Completion question. Here’s what you need to do to get ready:

  • Don’t be afraid to skip the harder questions
  • DO NOT plug in answers to see how they work. Just don’t do it
  • Take time to find the keyword in the question

SAT Vocabulary

There are no “vocabulary” questions on the test, per se, but knowing vocabulary and knowing a lot of it will undoubtedly help you to succeed on this section of the test. So how can you train your mind to retain words that you’ve probably never used before?

  • Use engaging tools, like flashcards or word games
  • Attach mnemonics to words that you are learning
  • Don’t try to memorize too many words at once–break things up so that your brain has time to absorb
  • READ!

What Can I Find SAT Reading Practice?

So you’re done reading and are ready to dive right in to your studies–good! Just scroll down to find a list of all of the SAT reading resources we have to offer. Click on a blog post to begin the learning process, and best of luck with your prep!

SAT Critical Reading


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