Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tips on Critical Reading Section of SAT (Short and Lengthy Passages)

Many students who have taken the SAT will vouch for the fact that the critical reading section is the most difficult part of the exam. Why? It is because the lengthy passages demand you to stay focussed! In order to stay focussed of for that matter to stay awake, you need to engage with the passage Here are some pointers that will help you stay engaged with the passage:
  1. First of all write on the passage, scribble on it, underline or highlight some important areas. Underline the transitional words or signal words such as but, yet, therefore, however, nevertheless, while and above all. Circle all unfamiliar words. Put stars when the author provides some examples. These are not sacrosanct. You can have your own codes, but the moral of the story is to do something to keep you awake and engaged. Make brief notes on the author’s tone, attitude and purpose in the margins. Writing on the passage serves two major purposes:
    • It helps you remember what you have read
    • It helps you make more sense of what you are reading
  2. The second way to stay engaged with the passage is to strike a conversation with the passage in your head. Go ahead. No one else will get to know about it. Talk back to the author. Ask questions. Make accusations. Get inside his head by saying “You are trying to be sarcastic, aren’t you?” or “Oh, I see where you are going with this example.” These conversations may appear insane at first, but active readers do this all the time. They help you to think like the author, by being able to do this; you will definitely find it lot easier to score better.
  3. Although interacting with the passage is important, it is equally important not to get carried away. Don’t dwell on any one aspect of the passage. Go through the passage once, marking it and talking to it as you proceed. Answer all the questions you know and then return to the passage for only those questions for which you are not quite sure. When you return to the passage understand that the questions are organised in the same way as the information flows in the passage. The first few questions in the passage will be based on the initial paragraphs of the passage. The last few questions usually are based on the whole passage.
Here are some pointers that will help you stay engaged with the passage:On both the long and short passages, the types of questions are the same. Specifically, you need practice in figuring out a passage’s main idea, the author’s attitude or tone toward the subject matter, and what the passage implies. Here are some pointers that will help you stay engaged with the passage:You will also need to be able to compare and contrast aspects of double/twin passages. Here are some pointers that will help you stay engaged with the passage:Sometimes you will be asked to figure out the meaning of a word in context. In this case, the question will give you the line location of the word. Here are some pointers that will help you stay engaged with the passage:Finally some questions will refer to some literary terms. A quick review of the following terms may be helpful:
Alliteration repetition of sounds at the beginning of words
Allusion a reference to something commonly known
Assonance repetition of vowel sounds within words
Cliché a trite, an overused expression
Foreshadowing hinting at what is to come
Hyperbole an exaggeration
Imagery description that appeals to the senses
Irony incongruity between what is expected and what occurs or between what is said and what is meant
Metaphor A direct comparison in which one thing represents another
Motif A recurring subject, theme or idea
Onomatopoeia The use of words that imitate sound
Oxymoron A pairing of contradictory terms
Paradox A statement that seems self-contradictory
Personification Giving human characteristics to inanimate objects
Pun Humorous use of words that sound alike but have different meanings
Rhetorical Question Question meant to make a point, not to be answered
Sarcasm Harsh or biting irony
Simile A comparison that uses like or as
Symbol Something used to represent something else
Theme The main or underlying idea
Tone Author’s attitude toward his subject
Keep visiting TCYonline.com for more tips and tricks on SAT. Remember, we here at TCY are committed to your success.

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