Fundamentals of Critical Reading

Wednesday 30 September 2020

 Pots By: Agus Supriyadi

Fundamentals of


Critical Reading


Your goals for this chapter are to:

      Become familiar with the two types of SAT critical reading questions.


        Learn some test-taking tips for the critical reading sections.


Three of the ten sections of the SAT are critical reading sections. You have twenty-five minutes for two of the sections and twenty minutes for the third section. The experimental section might test critical reading, and although this section is unscored, it is also unidentified. Therefore, it is important you do your best on all sections.


The critical reading sections test critical reading and vocabulary skills.





The critical reading sections of the SAT test vocabulary, verbal rea-soning, and the ability to understand reading passages. These skills are measured by two question types:


        Sentence completions


        Passage-based reading questions




This type of question tests your knowledge of the meanings of words and your ability to recognize relationships among the parts of a sentence so that you can choose the word or words that best complete each sentence.




Conditions in the mine were ----, so the mine workers refused to


return to their jobs until the dangers were ----.


           filthy .. disbanded 

           hazardous .. eliminated 

           deplorable .. collated 

           conducive .. ameliorated 

           illegal .. enhanced


The correct answer is (B). The workers wanted the hazardous condi-tions eliminated.



This type of question tests your ability to read and understand passages taken from any of the following categories: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and fiction or nonfiction narrative.


Based upon reading selections ranging from 100 to about 850 words, passage-based reading questions may require you to

            Recognize the meaning of a word as used in context


            Interpret specific information presented in the passage. 

            Analyze information in one part of the passage in terms of information presented in another part of the passage. 

            Evaluate the author’s assumptions or identify the logical structure of the passage.


Some reading selections consist of a pair of passages that present different points of view on the same or related subjects. The pas-sages may support each other, oppose each other, or in some way complement each other. Some questions relate to each passage sepa-rately, and others ask you to compare, contrast, or evaluate the two passages. 


Private enterprise is no stranger to the American prison. When the United States replaced corporal punishment with con-finement as the primary punishment for criminals in the early nineteenth century, the private sector was the most frequent.


           employer of convict labor. Prisoners were typically either leased to private companies who set up shop in the prison or used by prison officials to produce finished goods for a manufacturer who supplied the raw materials to the prison. The former arrangement was called the contract system, while the latter.


              came to be known as the piece-price system. In both instances, a private company paid the prison a fee for the use of prison labor,

which was used to partially offset the expense of operating the prison. Blatant exploitation of inmates sometimes developed as a consequence of these systems.


              Opposition to the use of prison labor from rival manu-facturers and from the growing organized labor movement began to emerge in the latter part of the nineteenth century as more and more prisoners were put to work for the private sector. Opposition reached a peak during the Great Depression


              when Congress passed a series of laws designed to prohibit the movement of prison-made goods in interstate commerce, thus insuring that these products would not compete with those made by outside labor. Many state legislatures followed suit, forbidding the open market sale or importation of prison-made goods within their borders and effectively barring the private sector from the prison. As a consequence, prison-based manufac-turing operations became state-owned and -operated businesses, selling goods in a highly restricted market.


      Prisons stopped producing readily available goods due to all of the following EXCEPT


        laws passed by state legislatures 

        laws passed by the Congress of the United States 

        opposition from organized labor 

        dissatisfaction of the prisoners 

        opposition from rival manufacturers 

The correct answer is (D). This question requires you to apply information given in the passage. There is no mention of prisoner dissatisfaction, so (D) is correct. Choice (A) is mentioned in lines 23–26, choice (B) is mentioned in lines 19–24, and choices (C) and

        are mentioned in lines 15–19. 

      In the arrangement known as the “contract system” 

        companies set up shop inside a prison and used prisoners for labor. 

        manufacturers supplied raw materials to the prison. 

        all of the prisoners signed a contract to produce a certain amount of goods. 

        prisoners with suitable skills would contact the companies. 

        exploitation inevitably ensued.


The correct answer is (A). This question requires you to interpret details. In lines 5–6, the contract system is defined as a system in which prisoners were “leased to private companies who set up shop in the prison.”


      According to the passage, which of the following was instrumental in the development of the private sector in prison?


        Seed money from the federal government 

        The replacement of corporal punishment with confinement 

        The crudeness of the original prison system 

        The constant exploitation of the prisoners by manufacturers 

        The piece-price and contract systems 

The correct answer is (B). This question requires you to evaluate information. Choice (B) is stated in the second sentence of the passage.

      Which of the following statements can be inferred from the passage? 

        There is no longer any private sector work done in prisons. 

        Legislatures are ready to repeal the previously passed prison laws.


        Prison systems were once fully supported by the fees paid by the private sector. 

        The Great Depression was caused by excessive prison labor. 

        Piece-price was more profitable than the contract system.


The correct answer is (A). This question requires you to make an inference. Choice (A) follows from the last sentence of the passage.







Vocabulary as such is not tested on the SAT. Until a few years ago, the exam included antonym questions, which required you to pick a word whose meaning was the opposite of some other word. Those questions have been eliminated. So the most direct and obvious form of a vocabulary question on the SAT is no more.


That leaves indirect and hidden vocabulary questions—of which there are plenty.


       Reading comprehension passages now include vocabulary-in-context questions. These focus on particular words in the passage and ask you to determine their meaning in the passage. Sometimes the words chosen are obviously “hard” words (latent, replete, and eminent, to name three real examples). More often, they are seemingly “easy” words that are tricky because they have so many possible mean-ings (camp, idea, and hard, for example). In both cases, the broader, more varied, and more accurate your vocabulary knowledge, the better your chances are of answering these questions quickly and correctly.


       The better your vocabulary knowledge, the easier you’ll find it to understand both the critical reading passages and the sentence completion items (which are, in effect, mini-passages, each one sentence long). Even an occasional math item is made a little more complicated by the use of a challenging vocabulary word.


Therefore, vocabulary knowledge makes a clear and significant difference in your performance on the SAT. Fortunately, the kinds of words that regularly appear on the SAT, as with so much else on the exam, fall into definite patterns. The SAT is basically a test of “book learning.” It’s written and edited by bookish people for the benefit of the other bookish people who run colleges and universities. It’s designed to test your ability to handle the kinds of academic tasks college students usually have to master: reading textbooks, finding information in reference books, deciphering scholarly journals, studying research abstracts, writing impressive-sounding term papers, and so forth.


The hard words on the SAT are hard words of a particular sort: scholastic words that deal, broadly speaking, with the manipulation and communication of ideas—words like ambiguous, amplify, arbi-trary, and arcane. The better you master this sort of vocabulary, the better you’ll do on the exam.


Fortunately, you don’t need to find these words on your own. We’ve done the spadework for you. By examining actual SAT exams from the last several years, we’ve been able to list the words most commonly used in reading passages and sentence completions, including both the question stems and the answer choices. This list became the basis of the SAT Word List, which can be found in the appendix. It includes about 500 primary words that are most likely to appear in one form or another on your SAT exam. It also includes hundreds of related words—words that are either variants of the primary words (ambiguity as a variant of ambiguous, for example) or that share a common word root (like ample, amplify, and amplitude).


If you make yourself acquainted with all the words in the SAT Word List, you will absolutely learn a number of new words that will appear on your SAT. You’ll earn extra points as a result.

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  1. Critical reading is reading a reading carefully, full of appreciation, and also analyzing and evaluating the reading. In critical reading of the SAT test vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and the ability to understand passages. This skill is also measured from the completion of sentences and reading questions based on sections.
    There are about 500 main words that often appear in one form on the SAT exam. It also includes hundreds of related words - words that are variants of the main word (ambiguity as a variant of ambiguous, for example) or that share the same root (such as ample, amplify, and amplitude).

  2. Name : Hayatunnufus
    Class: B/III

    Critical reading is reading to understand the content of the reading rationally, critically, deeply, accompanied by the involvement of the mind to analyze the reading.
    Critical reading of the vocabulary of the SAT test measures students' problem solving and critical thinking skills. This test demands vocabulary comprehension skills. And sentence structure. In this section the participants must fully understand each sentence and codify two parts of the text.
    usually will test vocabulary skills, comprehension of reading, argumentation and even analysis of a text to determine the point of view, summary and conclusion.

  3. Name : Nasrida Y. Barham
    Class : B/III

    Critical reading is reading to understand reading content critically, deeply, accompanied by analyzing the reading.
    Usually it will test vocabulary skills, reading comprehension, argumentation and even text analysis to determine viewpoints, summaries and conclusions

  4. Very useful, critical reading makes us more quickly understand and sharpen our brains so that we can understand the implied meaning in a book or reading and also add to a wider understanding

    _Ika pratiwi

  5. Name : Yumasna Safiudin
    Class: B/III

    Critical reading is the reader's ability to critically process reading to find the overall meaning of the reading, both express and implied. So in taking the SAT critical reading skill vocabulary are very important because we have limited time to read long texts.

  6. Name:Andis Gaffar

    in this text, we can know and understand that the explanation of the text above concludes that in order for us to easily understand and analyze, an article or other written work, where we can find out the main content of the reading contained in a magazine or other article.

  7. Nama: Felyks Dekapolis
    Kelas: B / III

    So, understanding in mastering vocabulary will make it easier for you to understand critical reading in a book. Likewise with the SAT which can make it easier for bookworms to provide instructions for other bookworms in writing a book.

  8. Nama : Rifirda Taib
    Kelas : B/III

    Critical reading is reading by understanding the contents of the reading rationally, critically, deeply, accompanied by the involvement of the mind in analyzing the reading. and also critical reading can make us learn to understand and maintain the brain and complex thinking skills by using the process of analyzing and evaluating the information received or in solving problems of the meaning contained in a reading, so reading kritis is very useful.

  9. Nama : Olvivani Patikoi
    Kelas : B/VII

    reading is also a process that is carried out and used by readers to obtain information conveyed by the author through the media of words and written language. In reading, it is known that the type of reading content analysis has meaning, namely reading by examining the available material without neglecting accuracy, understanding, and criticality in thinking.

  10. Nama : Sukamti Hasan
    Kelas : B / III

    Critical reading means that a reader applies certain processes, models, questions, and theories that result in enhanced clarity and comprehension.
    If reader "skims" the text, superficial characteristics and information are as far as the reader goes.

  11. Nama : Muliyati M.Karim
    Kelas : 3-B

    Critical reading is Critical understanding isan activity that encourages writing. Much reading gives us a lot of information and knowledge that we do not gain from our daily experiences. A lot of reading will also give us much insight into what we read. His good writing gives knowledge to his readers. Hence, if we are to produce good works of writing, we need to read a lot.




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