Get the Last Laugh When Reading

Want to get the last laugh in the SAT or ACT reading section? Pay close attention to the last line – better yet, underline this line. Chances are the last line is the key to the reading because this line concludes the author’s message and contains the extremely important MAIN IDEA. In fact, the entire concluding paragraph deserves a little extra attention in the SAT long reading passages and the ACT reading passages. Why? Because it, too, often sums up the main idea, proving the author’s point or message. So, confused by a reading? Jump to the conclusion! Then go back and skim the passage. Some students use this strategy for all readings, whether they are confusing or not!

With a mere 8.5 minutes to complete each ACT reading and a similar time constraint on the SAT, it’s important to use your time wisely. Jumping to the concluding paragraph might actually save you time. Figure out the author’s point, then go back to the beginning and skim the rest of the reading. This strategy gives you more time to focus on the questions, with ample time to go back into the reading to find the correct answers. Beginning at the end is sure to give you the last laugh.

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