ACT/SAT Pro Tip: Read Certain Sections “Aloud”

An open book with a girl's hand pointing on a page.

Flickr user hjl

Have you ever read something that just sounded off? That skill is going to come in handy for the English / Reading sections of the ACT and SAT.

Tricky Testing

The Reading section in the ACT and SAT aims to test your skills in editing written work. This section consists of different written passages. You have to go through these passages and identify and correct errors in grammar and punctuation, so that the edited passages sound and flow better.

Assuming that this should be a walk in the park is a mistake. The passages are carefully chosen to trick test takers. If you skim through the passage, chances are you may not find anything wrong at first. Every passage seems to follow all the grammar rules. The sentence structure in each passage look good and so does the punctuation. Obviously, that is not the case.

Pro Tip: Read the Sentence “Aloud”

You know that the passage needs to be improved but maybe you just can’t seem to find any grammar or punctuation mistakes that need to be corrected.

The key to determine if a passage needs to be changed is to read the sentences in your head as if you were reading it aloud—try moving your lips and reading it silently. Read the sentence, then read the correction options in the multiple choice.

When you read aloud in your head you will “hear” what it sounds like, and if it’s off you can then proceed to correct them to improve the structure, flow and tone of the passage.

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