Tag Archives: reading

Timing is everything, which means there is a right time to sit for the SAT & ACT (usually as early in 11th grade as makes sense) and a right time to prep–usually 2-4 months in advance of your target test date. That doesn’t mean the years and months before you officially commit to prep don’t matter. On the contrary, college entrance exams evaluate critical reading, writing, and math skills developed through elementary and secondary schooling. The core skills that drive academic excellence also provide the foundation for superior test scores. So what should students be doing before they really commit to test prep? 1. READ REGULARLY Reading, as many of us heard relentlessly while growing up, is fundamental. The ability to understand what you read quickly and efficiently, regardless of topic or style, may be one of the most important success skills in any field. Yet, many teens put off…

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While the digital deployment and multistage adaptive aspects of the new SAT and PSAT certainly draw attention as the biggest changes to these tests, one other revision deserves just as much attention. The SAT has always tested reading, and the digital SAT continues to refine just what aspects of reading matter most in the current educational environment. As usual, this portion of the test looks very different from its most immediate predecessor. Gone is the emphasis on long reading passages, linked evidence questions, and the dreaded historical documents. To be fair, most test takers won’t be sorry to see those elements go. What does the digital SAT offer instead? Expect questions evaluating many of the same fundamental reading skills in some new ways: Questions focusing on the enduring themes of thesis, structure, and both close and inferential reading will be attached to reading passages of roughly 100 words each. Each…

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Why do we keep returning to the message that reading is an incredibly important skill for absolutely everyone? With benefits this concrete and important, why wouldn’t we? Reading is linked to tons of desired outcomes: Increased reading speed and comprehension Enhanced verbal intelligence Greater command of language and vocabulary Higher levels of happiness, calm, and connection to your community Higher average annual incomes Not sold yet? Wait, there’s more! A 2023 study out of University of Cambridge found that Reading for pleasure early in childhood linked to better cognitive performance and mental wellbeing in adolescence: “Children who begin reading for pleasure early in life tend to perform better at cognitive tests and have better mental health when they enter adolescence, a study of more than 10,000 young adolescents in the US has found… The team found a strong link between reading for pleasure at an early age and a positive…

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Summer is just around the corner, and for high school students, that means that pretty soon you’ll be getting your summer reading assignments. It doesn’t matter if you’re a natural reader with a full bookshelf—nobody really likes having to slog through a list of “classics” before the fall semester starts up. Reading skills are crucial for teenagers, though, and developing any skill takes practice. Reading regularly can help make even the most difficult novels easier to get through, and as a lifelong bookworm, I’ve got plenty of recommendations. These are titles that I find myself returning to over and over because I actually enjoy them, and some of them might already be on your required reading list anyway. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner. This beautiful work of historical fiction depicts two women’s intertwined lives in Afghanistan through the Afghan-Soviet war and the rise…

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It might be hard to understand why the SAT and ACT test students on reading skills. Math is practical for lots of careers, and it’s important to know proper grammar and syntax, but why do standardized tests bother with having you read passages and answer questions about them? As it turns out, strong reading skills matter more than a lot of people realize. A 2020 study by Gallup found that a shocking 54% of adults in the United States can’t read at a sixth-grade level. Over half of American adults would probably have trouble reading A Wrinkle in Time or the Percy Jackson series. If you’re a high school junior or senior who’s had to read hundreds of pages of challenging literature, that might seem incredible, but as someone who was a bookworm from a young age, it’s easy to take for granted how hard reading can be for some…

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Reading, as we say over and over and over, is fundamental to learning, understanding, and living well. But maybe the practice would be more popular if enthusiasts weren’t tagged with such insulting monikers. Who wants to be called a bookworm anyway? According to Addison Rizer’s comprehensive History of the Bookworm, this derogatory term dates back to the 16th century: The earliest documented appearance of the word bookworm, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is in 1580: It appears in Three Proper and Witty Familiar Letters, a series of correspondences between scholar Gabriel Harvey and poet Edmund Spenser. One of the men writes of someone reading too much, “A morning bookeworm, an afternoone maltworm.” Back then, the term denoted idleness or vice: “Those who were bookworms were ‘candle-wasters’ and ‘maltworms,’ a reference to being an alcoholic.” Today, most devoted readers enjoy recognition of their erudition, despite being compared to vermin. Interestingly,…

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