Clueless about Critical Reading

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: July 2004 Archive: Clueless about Critical Reading
By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 08:40 pm: Edit

I took many practise SATS but i am having trouble improving my verbal score. On 5 tests I have got between 600-650. My biggest problem is by far the Critical Reading Section. I get most of the wrong and I dont even Know why they are wrong. Since I have seen some outrageously high scores on the Verbal section by some of the people on the board. PLEASE share your wisdom and enlighten me and all the other clueless people on this board how to do well on the CR section.

By Energy1 (Energy1) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 08:52 pm: Edit

I am by no means an expert on CR but I know this for a fact.

All of your answers in non A/B passages will come in order.

So if the answer to question #3 is found in line 10, the answer to question #4 cant be found in line 7.

But that's not to say that hints cannot be found in such places.

By Isabella (Isabella) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 09:21 pm: Edit

What practice tests are you taking? That will have a big impact on your practice test scores because some of the companies that write their own questions don't quite get the CR stuff right. Do 10 Real SATs and Princeton Review tests, and if you're still not scoring well, try PR's techniques for CR. Otherwise, the best way to improve CR is to just read, every day.

By Beth1486 (Beth1486) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 09:30 pm: Edit

The thing to keep in mind is that one answer is obviously right and the others are obviously wrong. The people who right the tests won't give you a question with two possible answers and the answers always come directly from the passages. With practice you will be able to do better.

By Energy1 (Energy1) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 10:39 pm: Edit

More than one answer can be 'right.' That is why CR can be sometimes hard.

Out of 5 choices, 4 can be true. But true does not mean the answer to the question. :(

I always feel that CR asks for the best answer instead of the only right answer.

But oh well. I should talk after I get an 800 V.

By Michael_Pham (Michael_Pham) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 11:45 pm: Edit

How can you have a best answer that isn't right?

Could you explain?

By C_J (C_J) on Sunday, June 20, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit

Here's a URL to an old thread I dug up with other CCer's tips on the critical reading. :)

By Energy1 (Energy1) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 01:10 am: Edit

The best answer is most directly supported by the passage. It is less open to interpretation.

That is also why I find verbal to be infinitely harder than math. It is quite hard to check your answers.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Monday, June 21, 2004 - 11:10 am: Edit

Is ti best to read the questions first or the passage?
Is it best to skim the passage or read it throughly?

By Vtran31 (Vtran31) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:42 pm: Edit

personally, I read the passage thoroughly as I would a good book. First read the stuff in italics, to get an idea what that is about. somehow, even if you despise the topic, make yourself interested in it. And just read at your normal reading pace (unlss that is too slow, in whihc case, u would need to speed it up).

By Daria1000 (Daria1000) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 11:58 am: Edit

I've basically tried every combination of skimming and reading questions first and everything. The way that ended up working the best for me is to read the passage incredibly carefully, underlining key parts. Then go through each question and go back and re-read the part that the question is answered in. Try a bunch of combinations and figure out what works best for you. CR has been my worst section my whole life until this year when I didn't miss any. Besides practicing, the best thing to do is just read. good luck improving, it really is possible.

By Cooldude (Cooldude) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 04:24 pm: Edit

ok on my SAT i got
1 SC wrong
2 analogies wrong
18 CR wrong

i know this sucks, but i read somewhere on CC that it helps by reading one passage at a time and then answering the questions related to it, i tried this technique on the PR Diagnostic Test (the formal one I went there & it was timed) and

VOILA I got 3 Wrong in CR
seriously try it, it definately worked for me!!

By Athlonmj (Athlonmj) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 04:29 pm: Edit

um.... are you saying that you used to read every passage and then answer questions??

By Renegade4box (Renegade4box) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 04:33 pm: Edit

I greatly improved my critical reading ability between the PSAT time and real SAT time. A few things worked for me:
(1)Skip directly to the passages, this may only work for a few select people but it really helped me improve my verbal score.
(2)Do lots of practice tests, 10 real SATs worked for me
(3)When you get something wrong and see the right answer analyze all the answers and eventually you will get to notice that one will have a slightly better fit to the question. It took me a while before this helped but once I found how they tried to make up questions I really didn't have a problem anymore.
(4)Do practice passages with groups. I would get together with 1-3 other people to practice SATs and we would do a single reading passage. Even if they only caught 1 question that I didn't during the passage it would still help me.

By Cooldude (Cooldude) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 11:19 pm: Edit

nope i actually meant to say: read 1 paragraph at a time!! sorry for the typo!!

By Neobez (Neobez) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:37 am: Edit

Read every day.

Princeton Review had some great strategies on their CD, i recommend getting it. I got a 660 in January and I'm taking the SAT again in October (for the last time), I hope to break 700.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:18 pm: Edit

what do you guys read to improve your scores.

By Neelesh (Neelesh) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 06:48 pm: Edit

im in the same boat as you guys..on my last SAT, i only missed 1 SC, and 3 Analagies...then i missed 12 Critical reading...i think i will try that method of reading a paragraph, and answering every questin related to it..but sometimes, the paragraphs are really short, so its gets annoying...

if someone who is good at cr wants to help all of us, please do!!!

By Yz16 (Yz16) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 12:22 am: Edit

i wonder if this will help, because CR's known to be subjective. However, it *is* possible to get a feel for the correct answer with practice and careful analysis of the answers. You need to rationalize ETS' thinking for yourself and get to know it.
Be criticial, literally. Don't look for teh right answer, but try to pick holes in each of the answers and see which comes out 'least wrong'.
what else...
if you really are getting 10+ wrong, there *must* be some bigger misinterpretation that you haven't identified. Are you taking the passages too literally? Are you reading them too figuratively? Are you not paying attention to the dialogue?
one other thing: sometimes when you're stuck on a question - for exsmple, picking out the author's intention - continue with the other questions. Sometimes ETS unwittingly steers you in the right direction by focussing your attention on pivotal details addressed in other questions.

I'll keep thinking, but that's it off the top of my head.
good luck

By Number9 (Number9) on Saturday, July 03, 2004 - 02:03 am: Edit

I think that reading that one paragraph at a time idea isn't bad. Think about it. You won't be debating whether something at the complete end of the passage influences on what something means directly in that paragraph.

I did bad on CR myself.

Analogies - 2
Sentence Comp. - 0
Critical Read. - 7! ack!

By Neelesh (Neelesh) on Wednesday, July 07, 2004 - 10:30 pm: Edit

anyone else?

By Prfzer (Prfzer) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 11:30 pm: Edit

Anyone else have any tips.....XIGGI? I need help on CR too!!!!!

By Prfzer (Prfzer) on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 11:30 pm: Edit

Anyone else have any tips.....XIGGI? I need help on CR too!!!!!

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