web analytics

Latest News

the latest news from our team

Paraphrase Power – SAT & ACT Reading

One of the most important skills for SAT Reading and ACT Reading success is the ability to quickly and accurately paraphrase a text – that is, summarize and translate what the author is saying into your own words. Doing this successfully ensures that you have a good understanding of the text, an achievement that will lead you to the correct answer choices and eliminate the wrong ones.

This is, of course, the big challenge that many students have with the Reading. If you read the passage once, twice, or more, and still don’t seem to understand what it’s saying or how it applies to the questions, then the following exercises are for you!

In these Paraphrase Power exercises, I will provide a text for you to read and paraphrase. Then I will give you my own paraphrase of the text – we don’t have to match our exactly, but your paraphrase should sound similar to mine. Then I’ll give you some questions from the passage to try.

Note: Paraphrase Power #1-4 come from the Old SAT. Even though the test isn’t administered anymore, the New SAT is pretty similar in the question types it will ask, and even ACT test takers will benefit from the extra Reading practice. Paraphrase Power #5 comes from the ACT. I recommend you do all the exercises regardless of the test you’re taking – it’s great practice for your reading skill in general!


  1. Read the passage provided.
  2. Paraphrase what you’ve read (put what the author is saying into your own words).
  3. Watch the video and compare your paraphrase to mine.
  4. Stop the video and try the questions on your own.
  5. Watch the video for the answers and my explanations.

Paraphrase Power #1


Paraphrase Power #2


Paraphrase Power #3


Paraphrase Power #4


Paraphrase Power #5


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!