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A Good Method For Practicing SAT/ACT Reading

reading photoStandardized tests require students to read with much greater attention to detail than they may be used to.

Here’s one of the methods we use to train our students to home in on those subtle differences between answer choices:

  1. Turn to a reading passage in your practice book, read the passage, and do your best to answer all the questions. Select an answer for every question, working as hard as you can to choose correctly.
  2. Have someone else (parent, sibling, friend) score your work by putting a check next to every correct answer and an x next to every incorrect answer.
  3. This other person should not indicate the correct answers to the questions you missed!
  4. Go back, reread, and try your very best to locate the right answers.
  5. Work hard! Don’t give up easily! Reread the passage, and rethink each question and each answer choice.
  6. Look up all the words you don’t know to help you understand better.
  7. If you’re stumped on any question, try again tomorrow. Often your brain chews on material overnight.
  8. Have your grader score your new work.
  9. If you still missed some questions, look at the correct answers and read the explanations carefully. Work hard to understand why they are the best choices.
  10. Ask a parent, teacher, or tutor if you still don’t understand some questions.
  11. Now…try another fresh passage. You’ll keep improving the more you practice!


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Photo by MC Quinn

A Good Method For Practicing SAT/ACT Reading

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS

Leigh Pretnar Cousins, MS is an educator, counselor, writer and speaker. She's been a tutor, test prep coach and home school teacher for over thirty years. Click HERE to visit Leigh's website and to subscribe to her newsletter, "Learning Something New."

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APA Reference
Cousins, L. (2015). A Good Method For Practicing SAT/ACT Reading. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 22, 2020, from


Last updated: 27 Aug 2015
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