Reading Strategy: Understanding the Sentence

Apr 10, 2012 by Yolanda Fontanez-Coleman | Reading, SAT Prep, Study Tips, Testing

Here is another great strategy to use when taking the Reading Component of the SAT or ACT test.

Reading sections of the SAT and ACT can cause anxiety for some students; however by taking a moment or two to understand what the sentences actually mean or are asking will benefit you in the long run.  First and foremost, read the sentences carefully and don’t be afraid to mark up the sentences.  Write any notations that will help you decode the meaning of the sentence.  Secondly, try to fill in the blank with your own word prior to looking at the multiple choice selections.


Amy’s father is ___________________ and therefore will need medication.

THINK:  If Amy’s father needs medication, then a word that fits in the blank has something to do with being sick or injured.  Either one of these words can be inputted into the blank in the sentence and will make sense.  Once you have penciled them into the blank, reread the sentence with your words to ensure that they make sense.  Next, take a look at the multiple choice selection.

  1. Ill
  2. Healthy
  3. Elderly
  4. Young

SO:  The words that were penciled in were sick or injured.  Out of the choices, healthy, elderly and young do not go along with the two words, however ill is a synonym for sick.  Therefore ill would be the best choice for the sentence.

We hope you found this strategy helpful. Check in weekly for more test prep strategy tips!

Blog submitted by Meredith Mathers, Team Tutor Test Prep Specialist

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