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Essential Tips for a Close-Reading Test.

For some students, this is a nightmare – the test which you can’t study for!

But just because you can’t study for a reading test, doesn’t mean that you can’t prepare.

Whether for the SAT reading test, or similar, follow these easy guidelines to improve your performance on the day.


1). Practice – Look at past papers. Get used to the format. Time yourself. Make the experience a normal one for you.


2). Time is a Factor – Manage your time correctly. If you have X questions in 60 mins, work out the average time per question. Allow a few minutes at the start to read through. Allow a few minutes at the end to read over your work.


3). Be Confident –  Your attitude can change the outcome of a test. Go in positive. Believe in what you can do.


4). Read widely – The passages could be about anything. Expose yourself to print: newspapers, magazines, trade-journals, Gothic-fiction, obituaries…whatever. Then you won’t be alarmed by the subject matter. (Best not to begin this the week before the test.)


5). Beware of the Trick Question – It is a comprehension test. Some questions are designed to be confusing. It may seem like there is more than one correct answer. There is only one.


6). One Answer is Correct – In multiple choice, this means that the other answers are wrong. Use logic to eliminate the incorrect answers. Whatever you are left with must be correct. It worked for Sherlock Holmes. It can work for you.

7). Read the Question then Read the Passage – For some people, this works best. You know what you are looking for.


8). Read the Passage then Read the Question – For others, this works better. By absorbing everything, you are less likely to miss something.


9). Read the Question…Pause – Once you read the question, take a moment to think. You may have the answer in your head before you look at the choices. Then, you simply confirm what you already know.


10). We all Make Mistakes – Practice. Make mistakes. Then learn from your mistakes. How did you fail? Was it a lack of knowledge? Was it a process? Address your mistake. Are you likely to make it again?


11). Always Read the Small Print – If there is writing on the page, it is there for a reason.


12). Don’t Worry – Time spent worrying is time that could be spent doing something more useful.


13). Get to Work – Don’t look for short-cuts in posts like these. There are no short-cuts.


So, there you have it. Follow these points and you are guaranteed to feel ready for the big day.

You can begin your reading practice by checking out our Popular English Courses.


Good Luck!


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