Simple Science — How to Tackle the Science Reading Passage on the SAT

Science is a scary word to most students, especially when it comes to the SAT. Try not to get intimidated though – at least you’re not required to dissect a frog! The SAT science reading passages are often dense and intense, but there are things you can do to prepare yourself for success. The questions are surprisingly easy, and many of them are detail-oriented as opposed to inferential. If you tend to get overwhelmed with the science readings, resort to what I call the “hunt and peck” method.

Typically, I do not recommend this “hunt and peck” method – looking at the questions and then hunting for the correct answer within the reading. However, with the dense science readings found on the SAT exam, I sometimes make an exception – especially because these readings are often not inferential! If you have trouble skimming the entire passage, I recommend reading paragraph by paragraph, answering the questions as you go.  Make sure to read the entire paragraph, though, before addressing the specific question.  Save the questions that address the passage as a whole for the end.  This method will make it easier for the answers to jump out at you- not like the poor frog being dissected!

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