SAT Reading test preparation

This section consists of 5 small texts of 500-750 words on a variety of topics. These are usually a passage from a work of fiction, an excerpt from a founding document of the United States (e.g., the Constitution), works on economics, psychology, sociology, and texts from biology, chemistry, or physics.

There are 10-11 questions for each passage.

Reading test tips

Develop your reading strategy

Reading can take some time. You can choose two ways to proceed: read the whole passage first and then read the questions, or read the questions first and then start reading. Practice on your own to see which strategy works best for you.

Make notes

Mark important words and sentences, and remove anything unnecessary from the text.

Pay attention the description of the text

Text passages may contain brief descriptions that may seem superfluous. These may include the year of publication or the name of the journal the paper appeared in. These descriptions may contain answers to the questions posed.

Take your time when discovering the main idea

Questions about discovering the main idea of a text may seem easy. A passage from a work you know may contradict the main idea of the book. Draw conclusions only from the content of the text.