SAT Critical Reading Passages : Read Less, Score Higher!

This course shows explains how & what you need to read. Finally, we explain how to always choose the best answer!
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  • Lectures 13
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

Contrary to most people think, the SAT is not about the content. Learning more vocabulary or more grammar will help you but the most efficient and effective use of your time is to focus on understanding simple academic fundamentals.

In this course will learn the following:

1.) How to Simplify

2.) How to Organize the Necessary Information

3.) How to Eliminate Wrong Choices

4.) How to Read Better!

Focusing on simplification means that you can deconstruct the necessary sentences and get back to basics. That equals an understanding that by the end of this course will translate into you entering university better prepared than many of your peers.

Moreover, by seeing how tests like this are made you will better answer all questions on all exams in the future. Why? Because the process of answering multiple choice is the same: understand the question, find keywords or clues, and then use a process of elimination to the discard wrong choices. The techniques are the same and will benefit you for years to come if you follow through and practice them, whether in a university classroom, in writing a grant application, or in any office function where you work.

This course should take 10 hours to complete, which includes your completion of practice test sections. We have videos, .pdf handouts, hyperlinks, Powerpoint presentations, and quizzes. This system has proven effective with hundreds of students over the last five years and can work for you too!

What are the requirements?

  • Recommended Materials include "The Official Guide to the SAT," which includes 10 complete practice tests. These realistic practice tests follow all of the rules.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • By the end of the course, the student will be able to more effectively read for all standardized tests and for class.

Who is the target audience?

  • High School Students of all ages and skills levels

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Course Basics
Section 1: Section 1: SAT Reading for Passages
6 pages

This short introduction talks about the broader goals of the course and introduces you to why the SAT is different. Read this first before moving onto any of the exercises or other content. Below is a link to the College Board Website, where you can find a free complete test for practice. Go through this tutorial in steps and read the handouts several times. Practice using real SAT test sections and record your results. There is a spreadsheet that you can use to record your progress. Take this one step at a time. You should take 10 hours to complete this course and spend at least another 5 hours practicing using real tests sections. That will enable you to see positive results and a be confident about a real score increase. This is not a quick fix but a key to understanding structure and the rules of the test. Practicing these fundamentals will not only help you improve on the SAT but also bring rewards in your regular classes.


This lecture is about the keys to understanding structure on both the macro (big) and micro (little) levels. Seeing how the text connects and moves forward is a critical component to your ability to eliminate the wrong answers. On the one hand, you have to understand the big picture regarding how the passages are generally outlined. Then, on the sentence level, you can recognize how the sentences are connected in small groups. Finally, this lecture will talk also about passive and active voice to make sure you understand this concept well (because the test makers use this a lot to set up traps or make the text harder).


This lecture talks about how to simplify sentences. This is a critical skill because for the SAT you only need to read small, selected segments of the passage. Once you locate the sentence(s) you need, you can simplify them into their most basic parts and cut out the extra stuff or diversionary materials that the test makers have inserted. Simplify for success!

Also check the supplementary handout on recognizing active and passive voice.


One of the more important things that you can do is understanding how sentences or thoughts are connected. This tutorial will help you understand just what to look for. For the SAT, recognizing these key words will go a long way towards helping you improve.


How do we deal with difficult vocabulary? This video talks about three different methods that you can use to overcome the words that you do not know.


Extreme Language--words like always, never, impossible, and unique. Look out for these, especially in your answer choices. Most of the time, those choices are wrong!

Process of Elimination
6 pages

This handout covers the essentials of what you need to know. Read this and continue your practice with real tests.

10 questions

This quiz is meant to test your ability to remember the process.

8 pages

These are the detailed notes that you need to overcome each specific question type on the reading passages. The overall process is essentially the same for each, but some have specific rules.

13 pages

This presentation focuses on the structure of the mini-passages. This will show clearly not only how you master the mini-passages but also how you can identify tone.

1 page

This is the cheat-sheet that you can refer to as you summarize what you need to know for success. With the skills in reading that you learned, you can use these simple procedures on the SAT to attain a high-level of accuracy. Good luck!

You should have learned to simplify sentences, recognize and understand transitions, deal with difficult vocabulary as part of the overall goal of simplifying the material in the reading passages. Once simplified, you organize that information and then use in conjunction with your process of elimination. This will help you read only as much as you need to and answer with a high level of accuracy. Read less (and more effectively) and score higher!

1 page

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Instructor Biography

Dr. Robert Niebuhr, Director, American Global Academy

Dr Robert Niebuhr earned his PhD from Boston College in 2009. Originally an historian, my career quickly branched out to include Slavic language, political science, humanities, and English. Niebuhr taught at Boston College, Harvard University, Simmons College, Universidad Catolica Boliviana "San Pablo" and Universidad NUR and has published half a dozen books and as many scholarly articles.

Living in Bolivia Robert met with TOEFL and SAT expert, William Hearn, and began teaching SAT and TOEFL iBT. Having taught many students in Bolivia using these methods, Robert moved to the Phoenix area and opened American Global Academy to help students here gain entry into elite universities and win scholarships.

Niebuhr's test preparation classes not only teach the methods for success on the tests but also lead to the construction of real-world skills that will help ensure success in college. In conclusion, all of Niebuhr's tutorials build fundamentals that go beyond ay entrance exam.

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