The number one way to improve your score on the SAT reading section is to read regularly.
1. Make a list of your interests and books you like
Start off with a list of stuff you know you like. If you’ve read any books that you’ve liked before, go ahead and write down their titles. If you’re starting from scratch, write down some things you’re interested in. Interests are anything that would make you excited to know about. Dragons? Sure! Basketball? That’s definitely an interest! Farts? If you’d want to read about it, it goes on the list. Don’t worry if it’s silly or weird, it just has to be interesting to you.
2. Phrase your search around what you want
Start googling “Books like [Book you like]” or “Best books about [interest]”. Put in your interests and take a look at the books suggested. Pick out a couple covers or titles that spark your interest and write down the names of any that look even a little bit interesting. If you’re not finding exactly what you want, try broadening or narrowing your search. If you have a favorite author maybe try looking at their their goodreads page to see what other books people liked.
3. Read the descriptions
Now that you have a list of books to sort through, start looking them up! Read a little bit of the description and think about whether it’s a book you absolutely want to read, kinda want to read, or don’t want to read. On the list of titles you made, put a star by the ones you really want to read, a squiggle next to the ones you kinda want to read, and an X by the books you don’t want to read. Keep making this list until you have at least one or two books that you think are interesting.
4. Go with your gut
Alright, now that you’ve got that list, look at the ones left that you’ve put a star by. Look over the titles, and if any especially jump out at you, go ahead and get that book. Don’t worry too much about a wrong pick, just pick one that looks interesting to you and pick that book up. If none of them particularly stand out, put your finger down on that shortened list and get the book that your finger lands on. Now, go and get it.
Whether it’s a physical book or an ebook doesn’t really matter as long as it’s accessible to you. If you find yourself getting distracted from ebooks, a physical book might be a better choice. If you have a lot of spare time when you can’t carry a physical book with you, then an ebook could be slightly better. The most important thing is that you have it on hand and ready to read.
7. Don’t forget to read it!
Now that you have a book, read it! You might have the book, but you still have to sit down and read it. Aim for a little bit every day. Even if you just open up the book once and read a page every day, it counts. Try and do it around the same time every day, like on your ride to school or right before bed, until it becomes a habit. That time spent reading will do a lot to improve your reading SAT score, and you’ll have finished an interesting book by the end of it!
That’s it! We hope you have a great time finding your next book to read. I’m currently reading Unexpected Magic by Diana Wynne Jones. If you want more SAT and ACT prep advice sure to join our mailing list for a free 27-item checklist and 30-day free SAT email course.