If students are not doing well on the SAT reading passages, there may be several things going on. I am trained as a reading intervention teacher as well as a secondary English teacher. Here are some key isses:
1) Lack of reading fluency – This can be solved by repeated reading practice with interesting reading passages. There is a page on this blog that addresses fluency issues.
2) Poor working vocabulary – This can be solved by reading widely. Reading increases vocabulary. Readers have large vocabularies; non-readers do not. Also, this can be aided by learning the most common English word parts – prefix, root, and suffix. I have an enjoyable method for doing this as you practice some critical reading passages. I will go into this method and provide a sheet to help you when I write the next blog post.
3) Not keeping track of the main idea and key supporting points of the passage – Many of the SAT reading passage questions directly address the main idea and key supporting points of the passage. Some students read the passage, but do not try to get the main idea and key points, and then attempt to answer the questions. If you look at the practice books with the sample problems, you will see that the majority of the questions directly address and highlight the main idea and supporting details. If you have finished reading the passage and do not have the main idea and key details in mind, you will not likely do well on the questions for that passage.
Training for the main idea and key supporting points, if this is a really difficult task for you, is to work with a partner and stop after reading every paragraph, coming up with that paragraph’s main idea and details. As this gets easier, begin to move up the main idea and key points for the whole passage. After each reading, come up with these first before you attempt to answer any questions. You will find you do better on better on the questions by studying in this manner, if finding the main idea and key points are a weakness for you.
If you would like help with SAT reading passages, please use my contact information and set an appointment.