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How to Ace Boring Reading Passages

We’ve all been there – working through the most boring Reading passage, hoping not to fall asleep, rereading the same sentence again and again and again.

While some measure of boredom is unavoidable when Reading SAT & ACT passages, we do need to minimize that boredom because the more interested in the task we are, the better we will be able to pay attention to the passage, the questions, and the answer choices. All of this translates into higher scores.

Some passages may be inherently interesting to you – treasure those because I can’t imagine that will occur frequently. But what should you do about those boring passages? How do you maintain focus when working through them? I offer you a strategy for doing so in the video below, a strategy that goes beyond the typical advice of “pretend you’re interested in the passage.” No amount of pretending will ever substitute for the real thing, so we need to take a different strategy – and this strategy dovetails perfectly with our Core Strategy for Reading on both the SAT and ACT.

About the Author:

I’m Rob Schombs, the founder of Reason Prep, creator of these videos, and your test prep tutor. I earned a BA in Chemistry (2006) and an MA in Science and Technology Studies (2009) from Cornell University. In 2010 I started tutoring SAT, ACT, math, chemistry, and writing full-time, and Reason Prep followed shortly after!

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2 comments on “How to Ace Boring Reading Passages”

  1. Kuba

    Hi mr Rob Schombs, my name is Kuba, I am from Asia. While I was studying in secondary school, my english was good, but after graduating a secondary school I went to the army. I have serviced 2 years. In 2018 I came and started to practise to SAT. In October I took 1020 (380 english, 640 math), and in December 1080 (390 english, 690 math). How u see I can not increase my english)). Actually I can not force myself to read these boring passages)). But now I have taken a good strategy from you). And I have just a one questions. Now is 12 of January 2019. Do I have a chance by regularly hardworking and your strategy increase my english 390 score to 700 and above until the exam in March 9? Yeah, I am a weird)), but I really need an answer from a clever person. It will be the best motivational word to prepare until march 9, 2019. Pleease, if it is possible answer me.

    • Robert Schombs

      It’s definitely possible to increase your score between now & March, but I can’t say for sure you can hit 700 in a mere 6 weeks. But you can definitely at the very least start your approach to that goal. Most students take a few tries after prepping to maximize their score, so you can continue to improve as you work each additional test.