An 800 on the SAT Reading and Writing is a weighty goal. 800 is perfect in this section. The tests are graded on a curve according to difficulty, so an 800 means you may be able to get only a single wrong answer. Any more than that will bring your score down from perfect. While 800 seems like a lofty goal, it is not unattainable. If you are already scoring high on this section, and you are committed to studying, you can achieve an 800 on this section.
Weeding Out False Answers
It is important to understand that there is a single, correct answer to each question. While each answer might sound like a possibility, you need to become proficient at weeding out the answers that are close, but slightly false. Once you can do this, the correct answer will quickly and easily stand out to you.
Another issue you may face is timing. You must be able to read and comprehend very rapidly. The best way to adjust your timing is to practice. You need to develop a reading strategy that will help you move through the exam at an appropriate pace. Many people will be tempted to read the entire passage and then the questions. While this will give you a thorough understanding of the text, you may not need the whole thing to answer the questions. A better strategy may be to skim the text for important themes and then go back to answer specific questions. Don’t squander time on unnecessary details. Skimming is a skill that must be developed. You have to practice this to be able to pull out significant themes and details without missing important cues and clues.
As you practice you will make mistakes. To improve, you have to learn how not to make any mistakes. You performance must be flawless. Each mistake you make should be analyzed so that you can understand why you made it and how to avoid it in the future. Don’t gloss over your mistakes in favor of simply trying more questions. Develop a strategy for avoiding that specific mistake in the future. Employ the strategy on similar problems and see if you have worked to eliminate this particular weak spot.
Above and Beyond
Getting a perfect score on this section can take intensive work, but it can also ensure your entrance into your favorite top school. A perfect score on this section will set you apart and put you significantly above and beyond other students who are applying to these top schools.
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