The SAT can be one of those most feared tests! And I totally understand. Your future career in the U.S kind of depends on how well you score on this test. But fear not! The SAT can be approached just like any other test: by studying hard and applying the right strategies.
Here, I want to give you the #1 strategy for the Reading section of this test.
#1 STRATEGY FOR THE READING: THE CENTRAL CLAIM.
What is the central claim of a text? It is the main message that the entire text wants to convey. You see, it is very important that you understand that a text is considered one main unit, and that whole unit wants to tell you, the reader, something. And as the reader, it is your job to figure out what that something is.
Why is the central claim so important in the SAT? Because all the questions usually revolve around this main message. So, if you get the central claim right, it will turn into a compass that will guide you throughout the questions, even if you're not sure what the answer of a particular question is.
So, how do you find the central claim? There are several ways you can do this, there's not a right or wrong answer.
However, I've found that knowing the type of text you're reading is great to understand what or what not to do. In the SAT, you usually have 4 types of readings: science, social science, literature and history.
● If you have a science or social science text, you should know that these types of texts are usually more factual. So, in order to find the central claim, you can always ask the text: WHAT are you about? By asking what, you can find the facts that are more relevant which will lead you to the central claim.
● On the contrary, if you have a literature or history text, you need to know that these are more focused on attitudes, perceptions, emotions and feelings. There are usually not a lot of facts. So, in order to find the central claim, you should always ask: WHY? Why are you adding this information here? Why is the character saying that? Here you're trying to find reasons why the narrator, characters or plot are the way they are, or say the things they say.
And now, where can you usually find the central claim?
Well, once again it really depends on the type of text. But as a general rule, you can always look at the introduction, conclusion and overall meaning you got from the text. That's always a great place to start! And remember, practice is your best friend, so make time to study hard and you will do great!
Contacts: Alejandra Rodriguez, Testprep Specialist & Language Coach arodriguez.testprep@gmailcom