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Tutoring For Your Needs • Passion For Education

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Jun 162011

The passages that you will find in the Passage-Based Reading Section can have expository, literary, narrative or persuasive elements, which means that what you are reading may be fiction, non-fiction or a combination of the two.  The SAT’s do not require that you have prior knowledge about the topics discussed in each passage.

The test does require that you understand context and vocabulary.  Knowledge about the topic is irrelevant as the SAT’s are designed to allow you the ability to demonstrate that you can extract meaning from a written document.  The author’s of these documents are not necessarily telling the truth, so as an example, the author may write something that is factually inaccurate, but even though the account is factually inaccurate, you are still responsible for understanding the author’s intent.

In my experience tutoring student’s for the SAT’s, I have not come across false statements, but I have come across elements of writing where the tone is sarcastic in nature and have witnessed students take the writer at face value.  It is important to understand the intent of the author when deciphering the meaning of a passage.

Bascially, prior knowledge is not required for the Passage-Based Reading section of the SAT’s, so try not to use prior knowledge when coming to a conclusion about what the correct choice is.


  One Response to “SAT Test Prep Tip #5: It Doesn’t Matter What You Know”

  1. There is sometimes controversy about this section, because people assume that prior knowledge on the topic will help. That really isn’t the case. It’s about analyzing the passage, rather than understanding the history of it.

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