- Active Reading Step | Science passage | Reading test | SAT
- SAT Reading: How to approach a Science passage
- Survey step | Literature passage | Reading Test | SAT
- SAT Reading: How to approach a Literature passage
- Active reading step | History passage | Reading test | SAT
- SAT Reading: How to approach a History passage
- Survey step | Social Science passage | Reading Test | SAT
- SAT Reading: How to approach a Social Science passage
- Worked example: Science passage, part 1
- Worked example: Science passage, part 2
- Worked example: Literature passage, part 1
- Worked example: Literature passage, part 2
- Worked example: History passage, part 1
- Worked example: History passage, part 2
- Worked example: Social science passage, part 1
- Worked example: Social science passage, part 2
- Explicit information | Quick guide
- Implicit information | Quick guide
- Point of view | Quick guide
- Analyzing relationships | Quick guide
- Citing evidence | Quick guide
- Main idea | Quick guide
- Analogical reasoning | Quick guide
- Overall structure | Quick guide
- Purpose | Quick guide
- Part-whole relationships | Quick guide
- Words in context | Quick guide
- Word choice | Quick guide
- Evaluating evidence | Quick guide
- Graphs and data | Quick guide
- Paired passages | Quick guide
Worked example: Literature passage, part 2
Watch Sal work through Part 2 of an SAT Reading: Literature passage.
Want to join the conversation?
- Because of the short amount of time given on the SATs, should we actually spend the time to read the whole passage or two and then answer the questions? Or read the questions first and read lines corresponding to that?(146 votes)
- it depends, if you are a fast reader and/or don't get distracted, read the whole passage. If you don't read fast OR get distracted and start to daydream, skim through it or read the questions first and hunt for the answer.(53 votes)
- Where is the qustion 1 of 5 ? I watched the vid and saw u answering 2 of 5 and didnt see 1 of 5 .(30 votes)
- For some reason unknown to me, Sal didn't answer question #1. From the College Board book, question 1 is:
Over the course of the passage, the main focus of the narrative shifts from the
A) reservations a character has about a person he has just met to a growing appreciation that character has of the person's worth.
B) ambivalence a character feels about his sensitive nature to the character's recognition of the advantages of having profound emotions.
C) intensity of feeling a character has for another person to the character's concern that that intensity is not reciprocated.
D) value a character attaches to the wonders of the natural world to a rejection of that sort of beauty in favor of human artistry.
The College Board answer is:
WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU WANT TO FIGURE OUT THE ANSWER ON YOUR OWN FIRST
Choice C is the best answer. The first paragraph traces the inception of Ethan's feelings for Mattie: Ethan "had taken to the girl from the first day" (lines 6-7) and saw her as "like the lighting of a fire on a cold hearth" (line 14). The second paragraph (lines 20-48) focuses on "their night walks back to the farm" and Ethan's elation in perceiving that "one other spirit...trembled with the same touch of wonder" that characterized his own (lines 30-31). In other words, the main focus of the first two paragraphs is the intensity of feeling one character, Ethan, has for another, Mattie. The last paragraph shifts the focus of the passage to Ethan's change in perception; he sees Mattie in a social setting interacting with other men, wonders "how he could ever have though that his dull talk interested her" (lines 52-53), interprets her seeming happiness as "plain proof of indifference" toward him (lines 54-55), and sees betrayal in the "two or three gestures which, in his fatuity, he had thought she kept for him" (lines 57-59).
Choice A is not the best answer because while Ethan acknowledges that Mattie "don't look much on housework" (line 11), the first paragraph also notes that Ethan "had taken to the girl from the first day" (lines 6-7); therefore, there is no support for the notion that Ethan's "reservations" about Mattie lasted for any length of time or ever constituted the main focus of the narrative.
Choice B is not the best answer because while Ethan does exhibit ambivalence about his sensitive nature, seeing it as a "mournful privilege" (lines 29-30), the main focus of the narrative does not shift to his recognition of the advantages of having profound emotions. Indeed, in the last paragraph Ethan's profound emotions give him only grief, as he sees Mattie seemingly rejecting him.
Choice D is not the best answer because while the second paragraph (lines 20-48) does discuss in depth the value Ethan attaches to Natural beauty, nothing in the passage signifies that he has rejected the natural beauty in favor of human artistry. The closest the passage comes to this is in lines 45-46, in which Mattie is said to have likened a natural scene to a painting.
So, this is the question 1 that Sal skipped for some reason. Sorry that it's a lot of writing, but I thought it would be helpful to see that question and the explanation for it, especially if you need extra practice questions.(171 votes)
- At1:23, I don't understand why Sal states that the answer is A, is the sentence not literally about Mattie walking very fast to keep up with Ethan?(19 votes)
- Well, answer A states "Mattie strives to match the speed at which Ethan works." First, the nighttime walks were not portrayed as being strenuous in any respect, so the suggestion that she strived to match his pace conflicts with the atmosphere of conviviality and tranquility the author was trying to create. Second, Ethan was not working; he and Mattie were said to be walking arm in arm, signaling that the walks were a leisurely engagement.(14 votes)
- Do you have any advice for international students who do not speak English as a first language? What kind of vocabulary do you recommend us?(11 votes)
- Well, I would suggest reading books to prepare for the SAT and listen to the daily conversation if you want to actually speak English well. (I'm an international student too.)(7 votes)
- Hi there, currently I am practicing for the PSAT but my reading comprehension scores are poor. Do you have any idea how to make my reading score higher? Is it through reading more classic books, practicing more reading tests, or using reading strategies?(8 votes)
- Hey Vivian!
All of those things that you listed will definitely help you with the reading section of the PSAT/SAT. Reading books in general will help you, because you will learn new words and hopefully be able to read faster and still understand what you are reading.
Practicing more reading tests will also help you, because you will get a better feeling of how the PSAT works and what kinds of questions will be on there.
Using reading strategies is a great idea as well. Princeton Review's book, Cracking the New SAT has some super helpful tips, as well as the Tips & Strategies section here on KA. If you look in the T&S section here, make sure that you read through some of the comments/questions. A lot of students who have taken the test have good advice that they post here.
Hope this helps you! Good luck on your test:D(6 votes)
- is 7th grade to young for SAT practice?(2 votes)
- It's never too early to start. But keep in mind that if you do decide to start practicing in 7th, you don't have to overwork your self. Even just doing 15-20 minutes a day can help a lot when you do get to the SAT.(13 votes)
- I am wanting to know other ways to pump yourself up before reading a passage, I always hate passages in the beginning and turn out to get most of the questions wrong. If you know any other ways Sal, please tell me?
PS: These videos are very helpful!!(6 votes)
- In the 5th question ...the lines referred were 41 to 43 ... according to which I think the answer should have been A i.e. suggest the peacefulness of the natural world . Because the author is just describing the scene in those particular line . And it is after line 43 i.e. 44 to 46 ..that author talks about them (their reaction ).(3 votes)
- I want to learn how to place words :/ makes no sense, i know. I want to learn how to. . .Peace words together like a puzzle, in such a way that. . .I don't know. I cannot explain this. WOuld i be studying Literature, or expanding my vocabulary :P(2 votes)
I think you can benefit from the SAT grammar section in Khan Academy. It will help you realize which words belong where. Best of luck!
I hope this helped.(2 votes)
- Where can I find more practice for SAT's?(4 votes)
- You can fine more practice for SAT at this link on Khan Academy:
Hope this helps!
- [Instructor] Now that we've read the passage, let's see if we can answer the questions. In the context of the passage, the author's use of the phrase "her light step flying to keep time with his long stride," lines four to five, is primarily meant to convey the idea that. So that's right over here, lines four to five. So "her light step flying to keep time "with his long stride." So remember, this is "Mattie Silver had lived "under Ethan's roof for a year, and from early morning "till they met at supper he had frequent chances "of seeing her; but no moments in her company "were comparable to those when." So he's talking about a really good time. "When her arm and his, and her light step "flying to keep time with his long stride, "they walked back through the night to the farm." So you kind of imagine he's this guy, and his long strides, and he's not used to being kind of connected to people and being happy around people, but then there's her, and her light step flying to keep time with his. So you imagine this person, and they're kind of having this enthusiastic and spirited conversations, and we read the whole passage about nature and science and feeling this connection. So yeah, this first choice, Ethan and Mattie share a powerful enthusiasm, that looks like what's being described. I mean, in fact, as we read on, we realize that that's at least what Ethan at the time thought was going on. B, Mattie strives to match the speed at which Ethan works. Well, no, that would be the case if they were saying he has this long stride and she was having trouble, and the whole passage was about her having trouble doing all the work in the house that she wants him to do and all that, but that's not what it's about. The whole passage is about this powerful enthusiasm, and it really starts from these early lines, where we're talking about, you know, this is the time that he liked being around her and this connection, and her light steps flying to keep time with his long stride. They're having fun, the spirited, passionate conversations in the night. Mattie and Ethan playfully compete with each other. Compete? Well, no. The spirit of competition doesn't really play out here. In fact, most of what he kind of talks about, he likes being like this teacher or professorial figure, this father figure kind of, that likes to awaken her appreciation of the planet. So it doesn't really seem like a competitive, or even a playfully competitive, relationship. It's really he is the teacher. At least, he thinks he's the teacher, and she's the students who's appreciating him and nature. Ethan walks at a pace that frustrates Mattie. Well, no, nothing in the passage makes us think that, or at least in the beginning, that Mattie somehow got frustrated by Ethan. It sounds like, at least over in those times, when he's reminiscing about it, that he believes that she's really enjoying all of this. So I'd definitely go with A. Let's go to the next question. The description in the first paragraph indicates that what Ethan values most about Mattie is her fitness for farm labor? No, in fact, he says right over here, "She don't look much on housework." So it's not gonna be that. Vivacious youth? That's possible. I mean, she is this kind of youthful spirit that's entered his life. Receptive nature, freedom from worry. So the receptive nature is interesting too, because it talks in the whole passage about how open she is about learning about the stars and about geology and whatever else. Well, let's just see. But "she don't look much on housework, "but she ain't a fretter anyhow." But then they say, "But it was not only "that the coming to his house of a bit of hopeful young life "was like lighting of a fire on a cold hearth." So he's saying it wasn't only, essentially, her vivacious youth. "The girl was more than the bright serviceable creature he had thought her. "She had an eye to see and an ear to hear; "he could show her things and tell her things "and taste the bliss of feeling "that all he imparted left long reverberations "and echoes he could wake at will." So this is, it starts off saying, look. It didn't look like she was necessarily the most impressive person to look at from a labor point of view, and sure, she had vivacious youth, but that wasn't it. The really powerful thing about her was "she had an eye see and an ear to hear: "he could show her things and tell her things, "and taste the bliss of feeling that all he imparted "left long reverberations and echoes he could wake at will." So it really is about the receptive nature. She was open to these things that he wanted to teach her, and she was, at least he thought, excited about these things. Question four, which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question? Well, actually, I would, let's see, I think I highlighted them. She had, "the girl was more than the bright serviceable "creature he had thought her. "She had an eye to see and ear to hear: "he could show her things and tell her things." So, let's see. Which of these are that? This is like line 15, through 16, 17, 18. That's actually, I happened to highlight those exact lines. I like to do these, as you can tell, in real time, so that I'm experiencing it as you would experience it, but luckily, I literally, but anyway, you get the point. This is the line. These are the lines that say that she was receptive. "She had an eye to see and a ear to hear; "he could show her things and tell her things." So definitely go with that. The author includes the descriptions of the sunset, the clouds, and the hemlock shadows. Hemlock is a type of plant. So the shadows of the plant, since we're in nature. So lines 41 to 43. So let's go down to line 41, line 41, 43. And I'll start reading literally. "And there were other sensations, "less definable but more exquisite." More exquisite. So before, he's talking about kind of the science of the stars and being able to think about what's in the fossil record and all of that. But then they're saying, "And there were other sensations, "less definable but more exquisite, "which drew them together with the shock of silent joy: "the cold red of sunset behind the winter hills, "the flight of cloud-flocks over slopes of golden stubble, "or the intensely blue shadows of hemlock on sunlit snow. "When she said to him once: "'It looks just as if it was painted.'" So this is just kind of that incredible, I mean, I feel, maybe I should have hung out with Ethan Frome, but when you're in nature, there's this indescribable feeling of how it just connects with you, the beauty of it all. So this is what they're describing over here when we're talking about the sunset, the clouds, the hemlock shadows. So it suggests the peacefulness of the natural world? Uh, yeah, well. Emphasize the acuteness of two characters' sensations? Yeah, I like that, because he's talking about him, in the past as we read, that he was wondering, is he the only that feels so strongly about nature and the beauty of the natural world? But at the time, he said, I think I found someone in this Mattie who connects with this sensation, who understands it. Foreshadowing the decline of the fortunes of two characters. No, this isn't that. This is about their connection. Offer a sense of how fleeting time can be. No, this was about both of them, him feeling this very basic passion for everything around him, this almost indescribable thing, and her connecting with it. And when she says, "It looks just as if it were painted," he feels that she had just perfectly described what he was feeling, these sensations. So I definitely would go with B.