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Chris Lele

How to Get Better at New SAT Reading

How can I get better at New SAT reading?

The answer to this question is both obvious and not that obvious.

The short answer: read.

The long answer: read the right material. And by that I don’t mean read SAT passages for fun (who would listen to that?). Rather, read articles from magazines and newspapers that value good writing and thought-provoking pieces. Specifically, read an article from The New York Times, The Washington Post, or The Wall Street Journal (sorry, no USA Today). You can also read articles from magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and .

What these articles share with the passages on the SAT is that they delve into a topic you don’t know much about. Furthermore, they use more sophisticated prose—the kind that you might typically struggle with and that you might find yourself nodding off to.

You might be thinking: Why oh why, Chris? Why inflict something so horrendous. If I needed to fall asleep, I’d take a dose of NyQuil and turn on Beethoven’s complete cycle of string quartets.

But there is some logic behind my apparent insanity. See, by reading articles from the sources above you prime your brain to be better at reading relatively tough stuff. Throw in a classic work, say something by Jane Austen (if you like British high society and aristocratic coquettes) or Bram Stoker (if you like blood sucking vampires who prey on erstwhile aristocratic coquettes). Now when you have to deal with these long dry SAT passages your mind is far more likely to drift off and far more adept at understanding what it’s reading.

And finally, reading. You might think it’s not that important but guess where you are going. Well, presumably college, and a decent one to boot. Even if you are doing something mathematically related, there is still going to be tons of reading your first two years. And we are not talking about USA Today-level reading. So becoming a better and more avid reading now will save you time in college (less time struggling to read Plato’s Republic and more time pursing other stuff).

Instead of just throwing you out there, here are some specific steps to go about reading material from the sources above (instead of just flailing around the front page of the New York Times reading about falling oil prices in the Crimea). They’re outlined in our New SAT 3 Month Study Schedule.


Did you know that Magoosh offers online test prep for the New SAT exam? We also offer discounts for purchasing subscriptions for more than one exam. Learn more at


P.S. Ready to get your highest SAT score? Start here.
About Chris Lele

Chris Lele is the GRE and SAT Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh Online Test Prep. In his time at Magoosh, he has inspired countless students across the globe, turning what is otherwise a daunting experience into an opportunity for learning, growth, and fun. Some of his students have even gone on to get near perfect scores. Chris is also very popular on the internet. His GRE channel on YouTube has over 10 million views. You can read Chris's awesome blog posts on the Magoosh GRE blog and High School blog! You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook!

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