Hello 👋 Welcome to this introduction of the historical and scientific passages on the SAT® Language section 🤓
Just a recap: the SAT Language section includes 44 questions (divided over 4 passages) that you’ll answer in 35 minutes ⏰
We’re going to discuss some of the types of passages you’ll see in this SAT section and look 👀 at some practice questions. Handy test tips are spread throughout! Ready to get started? Buckle up 🚘 and let’s jump in!
Let’s start off with history/social studies passages. According to the College Board
®, these passages discuss “political developments [and] global 🌎 events.” These passages are short articles that cover fascinating issues like the history of Greek yogurt and the applications of philosophy. Let’s discuss techniques for answering the questions on these passages.
💡 TEST TIP 1: Take Your Time!
We all know how annoying silly mistakes can be. Avoid this by taking your time ⏱ when reading the question and the underlined portion of the article! Be sure to understand precisely what the question is asking you 🤔
Practice Question 1
Images from College Board
This question asks for the most logical phrase that would introduce the rest of the sentence in this question. Take a look at the information before the sentence; it talks about settlers needing food while traveling on rail lines. The sentence we’re analyzing talks about the solution to the problem: Fred Harvey opens his restaurant. So what’s an accurate transition? It would be C: to take advantage of the fact that there isn’t good food for travelers, Harvey opens his own restaurant.
💡 TEST TIP 2: Use Process of Elimination!
It’s much easier to answer a question when there are fewer answer choices to pick from 🤠 Your test booklet is yours to mark up; cross out ❌ answers that you know are wrong!
Okay, let’s tackle scientific passages 🧪 next! Much like the historical passages, these will also be short articles. However, they will cover topics such as the benefits of exposure to natural light and chemicals that scientists use to preserve the freshness of apples 🍎
Don’t worry about unfamiliar terms or numbers 📈 that may appear in the article. Colleges Board doesn’t expect you to know or define them. Instead, they are simply testing your ability to analyze and apply the information you read 📖 Let’s take a look at a practice question.
💡 TEST TIP 3: Skip Questions and Come Back!
Likely, you won’t know the answer to every single question, and that’s okay! However, don’t 🙅♀️ waste your time that you could be using to answer questions you DO know. Skip questions that you don’t know and come back to them. If you really don’t know, make an educated guess and move on 🚶♀️
Practice Question 2
Images from College Board
This practice question tests your ability to read a graph/chart. These questions should be quite easy to understand, but read carefully! It’s also extremely easy to make silly mistakes.
We see 3 categories: dollars 💰 raised, average dollars 💵 pledged, and the success rate of the project. The highest project of each category is at the top of each graph. Let’s take a look at A; according to the graph, the project category with the lowest amount of money raised was dance, with around $3-5 million. The most successfully funded project was also dance, with around 76%. This fits the answer choice, so the answer is A!
💡 TEST TIP 4: Practice, Practice, Practice!
The SAT Language section is one of the easier sections to drastically improve your score, but only with lots of practice! Take the practice tests in your prep book 📖 or use PDFs of free practice tests
📑 on the College Board website.
Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back—you’ve made it to the end of this article 🙌 Hopefully, you’ve gained a better sense of the layout and questions of the historical and scientific passages that you’ll see on the SAT Language section. Keep the test tips in mind 🧠 and make sure you practice! Good luck on your SAT study journey!