All SAT Critical Reading Resources
Free SAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Tests
SAT Critical Reading Diagnostic Test 1
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All SAT Critical Reading Resources
Our free SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests are each a selection of 10 to 12 questions, which will give you a cross-section of topics from the Critical Reading section of the official SAT. You might think of them as little quizzes, which you can use to hone your skills. Whether you need SAT tutoring in Atlanta, SAT tutoring in Houston, or SAT tutoring in San Francisco, working one-on-one with an expert may be just the boost your studies need.
SAT Critical Reading Section
What is the SAT Critical Reading Section?
The Critical Reading section of the SAT specifically measures a student’s ability to evaluate the form and content of written text and to identify words’ meanings. Varsity Tutors offers resources like a free SAT prep book to help with your self-paced study, or you may want to consider an SAT Critical Reading tutor.
How many problems are there on the SAT Critical Reading section, and how long do I have to complete them?
In total, each SAT test contains 67 Critical Reading questions. 48 of these are passage-based Reading Comprehension questions, and 19 are Sentence Completion questions. In total, you are given 70 minutes in which to answer these questions; however, the SAT Critical Reading section is split into three blocks: two take 25 minutes and contain 24 problems, and the last one is 20 minutes and contains 19 problems. These sections are not given consecutively, but are separated by Math and Writing sections. In addition to the SAT Critical Reading practice tests and SAT Critical Reading tutoring, you may also want to consider using some of our SAT Critical Reading flashcards.
Section #1: 25 minutes, with 8 Sentence Completion questions and 16 Reading Comprehension questions
Section #2: 25 minutes, with 5 Sentence Completion questions and 19 Reading Comprehension questions
Section #3: 20 minutes, with 6 Sentence Completion questions and 13 Reading Comprehension questions
Total: 70 minutes, with 67 total questions (48 Reading Comprehension questions and 19 Sentence Completion questions)
What does the SAT Critical Reading section cover?
The SAT Critical Reading section contains passage-based Reading Comprehension questions and Sentence Completion questions. Passages may be drawn from a range of subject areas that students will be familiar with from their high-school education. The possible subjects of SAT Critical Reading passages include humanities, the natural sciences, literature, and the social sciences. SAT Critical Reading passages range in length from 100-900 words. Generally, the much shorter passages will have fewer questions associated with them. Some passages will be paired together with other passages, and you will be asked to compare and contrast them.
What do passage-based Reading Comprehension SAT Critical Reading questions test?
To solve passage-based SAT Critical Reading questions, you will need to be able to identify a word’s meaning from the context of the sentence in which it appears; show that you understand information that has been directly stated, such as in the passage’s thesis or body paragraphs, or through fact retention; identify cause and effect relationships; make predictions and inferences; evaluate the author’s intentions and style; and identify narrative point of view. Varsity Tutors has free SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests that consist entirely of passage-based Reading Comprehension problems if you need to familiarize yourself with this problem type or practice answering this type of question.
What do Sentence Completion SAT Critical Reading questions test?
Each individual Sentence Completion question on the SAT Critical Reading section is set up with one or more blanks that represent a word or words that has or have been omitted. You have to choose a word, or words, that best completes the sentence. Sentence Completion problems test your ability to recall the meanings and connotations of vocabulary words, understand the context of sentences, and identify subject-object relationships. Varsity Tutors has free SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests that consist entirely of Sentence Completion problems if you need to familiarize yourself with this problem type or practice answering this type of question.
Should I guess on the SAT Critical Reading section?
Each question on the SAT Critical Reading section carries a 1/4-point penalty if you answer it incorrectly. This means that for every four questions you get incorrect, one point will be deducted from your overall raw score. While keeping this penalty in mind, you should not guess haphazardly on the SAT because doing so could significantly lower your raw score; however, you can expect to be able to eliminate answer choices, increasing your likelihood of successfully guessing an answer. Due to this fact, it is recommended that you make educated guesses throughout the test. Don’t waste time on taking too long to solve challenging questions, only to run out of time when answering questions that you know how to solve. Remember, every question on the SAT is worth the same number of points, no matter how difficult it is.
How can I study for the SAT Critical Reading section?
Varsity Tutors offers free SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests for you to use in preparing for the SAT's Critical Reading section. Our free SAT Critical Reading Practice Tests are written by teachers, professors, content specialists, and tutors. Explanations are given for each question, so if you miss a question, you can find out where you went wrong. It’s a great idea to kick off your review for the test by taking a Full-Length SAT Critical Reading Practice Test. By beginning your preparation with one of these free full-length practice tests, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of your current skill level. These online practice tests will ask you to draw upon all of the concepts you’ll need to have mastered by the time you take the real test. Upon finishing the test, you’ll receive insights and metrics that give you the opportunity to create a personalized study plan, like thorough explanations for each correct answer and links that provide additional review exercises. When you feel ready, you can evaluate your study plan’s effectiveness by taking another Full-Length SAT Critical Reading Practice Test. Varsity Tutors also offers free SAT Critical Reading Flashcards, and free SAT Critical Reading Questions of the Day, as well as other free SAT Critical Reading resources.
Additionally, it is highly useful to practice your critical reading skills in the months leading up to the test. Critical reading is a skill, like any other, that can be acquired through persistence and purpose. Many students will enter the Critical Reading section of the test with a distinct advantage, because they have been reading for fun their entire lives. Only you can know if this describes you or not. If it doesn’t, do not be discouraged, because you can improve your critical reading ability with effort over time. When you read the newspaper or articles for school, focus on identifying authorial intent, argument, structure and style—the things that the SAT Critical Reading asks questions about in its Reading Comprehension questions. Imagine that you are writing Reading Comprehension questions about every text you read. What would you ask students about? Thinking about these things when you read for fun or for school, not only when you’re studying for the SAT, can help you tremendously in preparing for the Critical Reading section.