Transitional Words

Transition word (TW) questions test your ability to accurately connect two ideas. Getting these questions right relies on two main things: your knowledge of what the transitional words mean and your reading comprehension skills. With those two pieces in place, you can easily learn to get every transitional word question right.* Like I said, TW…

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Small Detail Questions (ACT Reading)

One of the most common question types on ACT Reading is Small Detail (aka Literal Comprehension). These questions ask what the passage says about some particular detail. The questions often start with “The passage indicates” or “According to the passage.” This is your clue that the test writers want you to go into the passage…

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Literal Comprehension and Evidence Support

Together, Literal Comprehension (LC) and Evidence Support (ES) questions make up 40% of all of the questions on SAT Reading. Because of their sheer number, mastering the LC and ES technique is an important component of getting an excellent score.  The technique I’m outlining is what I teach all of my students to use, and…

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Vocabulary in Context

Despite how it may seem, vocabulary questions on the SAT and ACT are not testing your vocabulary as much as they are testing your reading skills. For this reason, I would rarely recommend studying vocab words if you want to get better at vocab questions. Instead, I would recommend that you memorize the steps I’m…

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How to use Process of Elimination

Process of Elimination (POE) is the most important technique for SAT Reading, yet many students don’t know how to do it. WHY POE is important: The SAT is written in a way that makes it really hard to recognize right answers. The test writers don’t phrase right answers in a way that is obvious, and…

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Yes/No, Kept/Deleted: Command of Evidence

I regularly see elite scorers get Command of Evidence questions wrong until they commit to using the technique I’ve outlined below. The purpose of this technique is to give your brain the best possible chance of finding the right answer. If you do not follow all the steps, the technique will not work.  Read the…

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Down to Two, What to Do

Every student has experienced that moment on a Reading section when they’re down to two ridiculously similar answers and they can’t seem to pick which one is better. Figuring out how to handle this “down to two” problem is at the heart of getting a better score.  Before we jump into exactly what to do…

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