Taking the SAT? 3 Practical Strategies to Boost Your Reading Score


Have you been struggling with the SAT Reading section? Do you seem to know the answers but run out of time before you can complete the test? Or do you have a hard time eliminating the wrong answers for each question?


If you’ve nodded your head in agreement with any of the above questions, we’ve got you covered.


The Reading Test is a crucial component of the “Reading + Writing” section of the SAT. The SAT reading score plays a key role in determining your college admission experience. It’s particularly important if you’re planning to pursue humanities or social sciences in college.


In this blog, we’ll discuss a few useful techniques to help you get a perfect 800 on the SAT Reading Test. Let’s get started.

Decoding the SAT Reading Test

Before you decide to tackle the SAT Reading Test head-on, you must have a clear idea of what it entails. Simply put, it’s a part of the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT. It accounts for 50 percent of your score from that particular section.


The Reading section comprises 52 questions from five passages that cover the following subjects:


  • American and world literature
  • History and social studies
  • Natural sciences


You get 65 minutes to answer all the questions. Irrespective of how alike or confusing the answer choices seem, there’s only one correct answer for each question.


It’s worth mentioning here that the test isn’t designed to evaluate your knowledge. Instead, it assesses your reading, comprehension and analytical skills. Getting a high score on the Reading Test improves your overall score. Also, it compensates for your weaknesses in other sections, such as language and math.


Online SAT tutoring services, such as SoFlo SAT Tutors, equip you with plenty of reading strategies to ace the test. They even guide you through the process of eliminating wrong answers and deciding the order of tackling the passages.


However, as a student, it’s up to you to identify and work on your weaknesses to skyrocket your score. Let’s take a look at a few helpful tactics to get you started.

Know Where You Stand

If you’ve been struggling with a low Reading score in practice tests, it could be because of two reasons:


  • Poor time management skills
  • Wrong reading strategy


Before you go ahead and start looking for new reading strategies, it’s important to understand the precise cause of your low score. If your time management skills aren’t up to speed, even the best reading strategy will fail to improve your performance.


That’s why it is a good idea to take a practice test on your own. Set the timer to 65 minutes, and do your best to answer all the questions. Once the time limit gets over, continue to answer any remaining questions. Make sure you mark the questions that you answered after the timer went off.


Next, check the answer key and score chart to calculate your score based on the questions you answered within the time limit. Also, calculate the total score you achieved with the extra time. The difference between these scores will give you clarity about the areas that need improvement.


If there’s a significant difference between your actual score and extra time score, you need new tactics to better manage your time. However, if there isn’t a noticeable difference, then you likely need to look for new reading strategies.

Choose the Most Suitable Reading Strategy

When it comes to the SAT Reading Test, most students choose one of the following strategies:


  • Skim the passage before checking the questions
  • Read the questions first and skim only relevant sections of the passage


There isn’t a universally accepted formula to decide which strategy is the best. Instead, you need to use both reading strategies and understand what works better for you. Taking a practice test and calculating your extra time score will give you a fair idea of how well your current strategy is working.


Also, SAT coaching services, such as SoFlo SAT Tutoring, handhold you through the process of choosing the right reading strategy based on your needs and abilities.

Let There Be Chaos

Answering the questions in a passage out of order is one of the most effective ways to score high in the SAT Reading Test. Don’t be afraid to skip a question that seems too difficult or has confusing answer choices. Tackle the easier questions first, so that you have plenty of time to work on the more challenging ones later on.


College admissions are a critical phase in every student’s life. Start preparing for the SAT while you still have time. Get professional help to identify your weaknesses, and choose the best strategy to improve your SAT reading score.