Nuts and bolts of critical reading.
SAT Critical Reading includes both sentence completion questions and passage-based reading comprehension questions.
Sentence completion questions give you a sentence with one or two words missing. It’s your job to decide which of five words— or pairs of words—work best in the sentence. For example, the sentence might be Because Anne loved taking tests, on the morning of the SAT she was very ____. Among the possible answer choices, happy might be the best choice. Sad, angry, silly, and crazy would all be incorrect.
This is the one part of the new SAT that still tests your vocabulary to a significant degree. While sentence-completion questions also test your ability to understand how sentences are structured, knowing the meanings of the words themselves will be essential to success on this part of the exam.
The other part of the Critical Reading section consists of passage based reading questions. On this portion of the SAT, you read passages of various lengths and then answer questions about it. The questions can test the meaning of words in context, comprehension, or reasoning skills. Some types of passage-based reading questions ask about two related passages.
Passage-based reading is arguably the most time-intensive part of the SAT. For most students, the passage itself is simply too long to be read carefully in the time-allotted.