8 Types of Questions on the Digital SAT Reading
8 Types of Questions on the Digital SAT Reading

8 Types of Questions on the Digital SAT Reading

Are you preparing to take the digital SAT soon? Feeling anxious about the reading and writing portion of the digital exam? The digital format has many students concerned and while the college board website gives practice questions for the digital sat and even prep materials, more information is needed.

Let’s talk about the reading questions in the digital SAT below (I will discuss the digital SAT”s grammar-based questions in a separate blog post where I will have a list of key grammar rules.) The college board has made changes to the reading and writing section as it moved from the paper SAT to the digital SAT. So what sort of reading questions will you see? And what are the broad tips for the reading?

We will start with some broad digital SAT reading tips.

1. Break the written portion down. For any paragraph or text you get, make sure you rephrase it into simple terms. Imagine you have a paragraph before you. How would you rephrase it to explain it in one or two sentences to an 8-year-old? This process involves simplification of the text. Doing so will make it easier for you, the test taker, to process what is being said.

  1. Always get the main idea of the text. The main idea is what the author is trying to convince you of.
  2. When in trouble, use the process of elimination. W backward to eliminate any incorrect answers.

These three points apply not just to the SAT but also to many other standardized tests as well.

Differences Between the Digital SAT Reading and the Previous Paper-Based Version

One key difference between the paper SAT and the digital SAT is the exam format. In the paper SAT, questions were ordered chronologically, matching the flow of the passage. In the digital SAT reading questions are not consistently lined up with the passage’s progression. Their difficulty level varies with the students’ responses to the digital SAT.

Second, the digital SAT format incorporates more inferential questions, requiring you to draw conclusions based on the given text. This differs from the paper SAT, which had a stronger focus on factual recall and direct comprehension.

Third: Say Goodbye to long passages! The new digital SAT’s new format has shorter passages. The old paper-based SAT had 40 questions for reading comprehension, each with a passage of about 700-1000 words. On the digital SAT, which has only 52 total questions, there are no longer long passages. Instead, there are up to 8 shorter ones on the digital SAT today. I am sure many of you are pleased about this aspect of the digital SAT!

While you don’t need totally new strategies, it is good to be aware of the kinds of questions on the digital SAT so you can engage in targeted practice for the digital test.

Know 8 Question Types for Success on the Digital SAT Reading Test

  1. Main idea questions on the digital SAT: you simply need to tell what the main idea of the text was. What does the author want you to believe? Ideas questions focus on this! Do not get lost in the details when reading the text, only note what the author is trying to convince you of. This digital SAT question tests similar skills for detecting the main idea in the previous version of the SAT.
  2. Structure questions on the digital SAT: these ask about the text structure. What is the relationship between the different sections of the text? Pay close attention to the structure. Again, look at the big picture, and then answer.
  3. Vocab in context questions on the digital SAT: these ask for how the author is using a particular word in the text. Prior knowledge of the meaning of the word helps but is not always necessary when you encounter this question on the digital SAT.
  4. Logically completes the text question on the digital SAT: Here you must demonstrate that you understood what the text was conveying by picking a word or phrase that most logically completes the text.
  5. Data/Graph questions on the digital SAT: these questions are put by the college board to test your ability to read graphs and charts on the new test. They test similar skills to those you may learned earlier in your academic career: simply interpreting the data or graph. Make sure you link the data with the text.
  6. “What choice most logically completes” These questions on the digital SAT can be treated as sentence completion questions that appeared on very old (almost ancient) versions of the sat reading. It does not hurt to learn new words to boost up your vocabulary.
  7. Dual passage questions: You have to compare two passages after reading them. Note the differences and similarities in tone and main ideas of each of the passages.
  8. Relevant information: here you have a researcher or student and based on the information you have to select which information would be most helpful. Think like a researcher and pick the choice that supports the argument.

The digital SAT reading section is a comprehensive test that assesses a wide range of critical reading skills. From analyzing the structure and tone of a passage, to interpreting vocabulary in context, and even deciphering data from graphs and charts, it requires a thorough understanding and application of various reading strategies and skills. Furthermore, comparisons between dual passages and the identification of relevant information underscore the importance of analytical thinking. This section tests not only your reading skills but also tests your critical thinking skills. In order to adequately prepare, the student should be familiar with the reading material but also regualrly do full length practice tests. Practice exams are your friend! As a general rule try to do as many practice questions as possible before test day. Remember every single question helps!

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