SAT English Study Tip #8 – SAT Critical Reading Part II – Answering Multiple-Choice Comprehension

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Many students find that choosing the correct answer to multiple-choice questions in the critical reading section of the SAT is one of the most challenging tasks they face. The options are often confusing, they contain abstract ideas or vocabulary, and they are so similar to each other that it is difficult to know which one is better than the next. Well, that’s all about change. By using Prompt & Translation, you will now find that selecting the correct answer becomes very straightforward. In fact, many students who use this strategy can’t believe how different the options actually are from each other. What was once a pile of confusion is now crystal clear. Because you have monitored your comprehension so effectively throughout the passage, you have put yourself in the drivers seat – you’re now in a position to not only move quickly and efficiently through the questions, but you can be certain that your motivation and confidence increases as you move smoothly through anything that comes your way. You won’t be swayed by those options that are designed to “word match” and to fool students into thinking that because the answer contains the same phrasing is part of the passage, then therefore, it must be the correct option. You won’t hastily choose ‘none of the above’ just because you have no clue what the correct answer might be. In fact you will probably find you will be able to know the correct answer even before you look at the multiple-choice options. Yes – it is that easy!

            The key to answering questions correctly is to COVER the multiple-choice options. Yes – cover the options. Do not read through them as if they were a continuation of the question itself. By reading the options too soon, you waste all of that valuable translation work you did. You clutter your mind with all sorts of thoughts about which option is best even before you giving yourself a chance to think about your own ideas, about what question is even asking you. Now, sometimes the SAT critical reading questions are worded in such a way that you have no choice but to expose the options – but these are not the norm and covering the options, thinking about how to answer the question on your own first, and then looking which options are available to you – this is the way to go!

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Once you decide on how you would answer the question on your own (without the options given), uncover the multiple choices. Scan through the list, trying to find the one that best matches what your instinct told you the right answer would be. Don’t be swayed by the answers that are meant to sway you. Don’t waste time contemplating if each option “could be right” – zero-in on the one that is closest to what you said before you go to the options. Put it this way, if there were no options to choose from at all, you would be able to write something down for an answer, right? Use that natural ability of yours to select what you know is the only true possibility. Trust yourself and you will have success with SAT English Critical Reading.


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