How important is it to read to prepare for the SAT?
I have been looking at ways to prepare for the SAT and ACT (21 composite ACT, 1170 SAT) and have been seeing lists of what I should be reading (stuff like the New Yorker, the Classics, etc). Is this important to do or should I take it with a grain of salt?
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I think the answer depends on your reading section score. If you are scoring below ~650 on the reading/writing section, reading more may be a good way to improve your score. If you are scoring above 650, reading more may be a waste of your time. Also, it depends on how much time you have to study. If your test date is in under a year, reading more may not be the best strategy.
Either way, there are more efficient ways to improve your reading/writing score. Spend time learning grammar rules and doing drills, or try out different reading strategies with practice tests so you can figure out which strategy works best for you. Khan Academy and Prepscholar have some great free resources for the reading/writing section that I used to improve my score from 670 to 800. Looking at a skills analysis of your reading/writing score may also be beneficial (can be found on collegeboard.org). Take practice tests, identify your weaknesses, and work on learning or developing strategies so that you dont get the same types of questions wrong again.
When I was practicing for my SAT and my ACT, I read nature magazine and primary history sources (like Washington's farewell address and the like) to prepare for the science and history sections (which were my weakest). However, I would 100% recommend reading one book in particular: The black book. https://www.amazon.com/SAT-Prep-Black-Book-Strategies/dp/0692916164
This book was absolutely godly for exam prep. I highly recommend it. Khan Academy also has free courses for the SAT as well if you need more practice. Another thing you should definitely do in addition to these things is go the cracksat.net and take practice tests until your head spins.
I think reading is a major part of the SAT because reading is something that takes a lot of time, and you need to be focused to be able to understand what the passage is saying. The questions in the reading section are especially tricky, as there are some questions that ask you to give an answer, and the question after that asks you to support that answer with a quote. If you get that answer wrong and the quote corresponds to the wrong answer, that is 2 questions gone.
I think that reading one article from The New York Times isn't that time consuming, but surely will improve your vocabulary while getting you used to reading about different categories, which you will do in the test.
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