Trend Spotting

Many students begin their study of the SAT critical reading section with the same question: “I heard that I should skim the questions before I read the passage.  Is that true?”

In many cases, this would be great advice!  However, the SAT is a standardized test.  So, there are several question types that appear over and over again throughout the test.  If you learn these question types, you will know what to look for in the passage.

Here are the most common critical reading question types:



In line 16, the word “outstanding” most nearly means


The primary function of the first paragraph is


According to lines 56-60, MacArthur’s primary aim was to


In lines 30-36, the author implies that Strauss

Try this exercise: Look at one SAT critical reading passage and, without reading the passage or answering the questions, identify the question type for each item.  Some may fit more or less into the mold, but definite patterns will begin to emerge.


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