How to Prepare for SAT Reading Comprehension Questions

The reading comprehension questions in the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) question your understanding of the content and style of specific reading passages. Reading comprehension questions are the most time demanding questions in the SAT critical reading section. Some reading passages can take up to 15 minutes. Your readings throughout high school will prove helpful in preparing for the reading comprehension questions.

Read all the time. Reading is the best way to prepare for the SAT reading comprehension questions. The SAT usually uses passages from novels and texts that are on high school reading lists.

Read the whole SAT reading comprehension passage. Do not skip ahead and try to answer the questions before reading the passage. Reading the questions first will lessen your capability to focus on the reading passage.

Make notes on scratch paper as you read. Write down the writing style, main topic and key points.

Write down the beginning words of sentences or paragraphs that contain main points. This will provide you with quick reference points within the passage for the questions to come.

Refer back to the reading comprehension passage when choosing an answer. Do not rely too heavily on your memory.

Answer practice reading comprehension questions or take practice SAT tests. Practice questions can be found in SAT study guides and online. SAT practice tests will allow you to practice under test-like conditions.


Use a study guide to learn time saving tips for the SAT reading comprehension questions. If you cannot make an educated guess, leave a question blank. Skipping a question does not detract from your score.

Things You'll Need

  • SAT Study Guide
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