SAT (Fall 2023)
Details about Information and Ideas on the Reading Test.
Information and Ideas: The Author's Message
The Information and Ideas category includes questions that focus on what the passage says (directly or indirectly). To interpret the author's message, you’ll need to consider both what’s stated and what’s implied – or strongly suggested – in the passage.
A note on the images in this article: all Reading Test items will be associated with a passage, but the passages are not included here. Each question pictured is just one example of how items in that category can look.
Some sub-topics within Information and Ideas:
These questions will ask you to identify information and ideas explicitly stated in the text or to draw reasonable inferences and logical conclusions from the text. In some cases, the questions will ask you to apply information and ideas in a text to a new, analogous situation.
Citing textual evidence.
These questions will ask you to cite evidence within the text that best supports a given point or idea.
Determining central ideas and themes.
These questions will ask you to identify the central theme(s) or the main point(s) of the text.
These questions will ask you to recognize an effective summary of a passage or of a part of a passage.
These questions will ask you to draw connections (such as cause-and-effect, comparison-contrast, and sequence) between or among people, events, or ideas in the passage.
Interpreting words and phrases in context.
These questions will ask you to figure out the precise meaning of a particular word or phrase as it's used in a passage.
You will not need to know the names of these question types for the test, but this list gives you an idea of some of the question types you will encounter.
Want to practice your analysis skills? Try some questions now!
Want to join the conversation?
- How can i improve my vocabulary for the reading section ?(21 votes)
- From the author:You're in the right place to find reading passages of the appropriate difficulty level, jam-packed with the kinds of words you'll see on the SAT. Write down words you don't know, along with their definitions and an example sentence. Read challenging articles from newspapers and magazines like Time, Vanity Fair, Newsweek, Nature, Scientific American, and the Economist, and look up the words you don't know. Your vocabulary will grow, and your general knowledge about the world will grow too!(54 votes)
- I have trouble with the textual evidence problems. I tend to cite one sentence that has a similar theme/idea to the correct one. How can I stop doing this?(11 votes)
- Think of the textual evidence problems as, which option almost restates the point I need to support or is the most relevant.
Problem: Which evidence best proves that the author believes that her PoV is not popular with the general population?
Approach: You would look where it says that not everyone agrees with her point. *Be CRITICAL.* If you are stuck between two, then there is some small detail you are missing. Make sure it answers the question completely and is not just a relevant fact.(17 votes)
- My recent SAT practice score on the reading and writing part is only 540/800, would you mind giving me some advice in order to improve the score ?(11 votes)
- I would do another practice exam or focus on the reading section. I would also read books so that you are exposed to other kinds of literature. While you are reading create an summary in your head. When a question asks for a specific line, look at a few lines before and after so that you know the context of the specific line.(7 votes)
- so, let me get this straight... even if I get a good score on the english sections, I would still have to work hard and get a good score on math to "do well" because math and english are separate parts of the test?
I can't just pass because one half that I know better and get a high score can carry the other half that I don't know as well?(6 votes)
- 50% of the marks are allotted to English. If you score well in English, then a lower score in math won't look as bad. In the end, it comes down to how strong your English is and how weak your math is.(15 votes)
- i am having difficulty managing time for reading passages. how can i manage that?(3 votes)
- Managing time on the reading section is a struggle for a lot of people. When taking the test, try to do every passage in under 11 or 12 minutes (The time limit accounts for 13 minutes per passage). That gives you a buffer zone for any really hard passage, and gives you a bit of time to check your work and take another look at hard questions. Keep a look at a clock or watch to stay on pace, and try not to get hung up on any one question for too long.
As for how you can actually go faster, the main part of the test everyone can speed up on, in my opinion, is reading the passages. No one's expecting you to read an SAT passage the same way you'd read a novel for pleasure. Instead, think of it like skimming a webpage for a research assignment. You're only there to absorb the big ideas and get a sense of where things are in the passage, and you'll only really focus on the itty-bitty details when you get to the questions and know what you're looking for. Don't be afraid to do a quick skim of the passage. You'll inevitably get the deeper understanding while you work through the questions.
Other than that, practice and recognizing patterns can make you faster. You should know to be wary of answer choices that seem very extreme, and make sure you remember where you got the answer from on a question paired with a "find the evidence for the previous question" question. Just little things like that, that you'll mostly absorb from practice.(12 votes)
- I'm struggling with the difference between when they ask for what the author is implying and what they're indicating. I've always assumed implying meant there was kind of a step between the author's words and the conclusion the reader takes away, while an indication was the author stating the exact conclusion the reader gets word for word.
Sometimes they ask for what the author is implying and then for a quote from the text supporting the implication, but the correct quote is really on the nose, using the same words/phrases and everything.
Are implication and indication interchangeable on the SAT or am I looking at them in the wrong light?
- When "according to the passage", "states" or "indicates" is used in the passage, the answer is directly in the passage, BUT, When "based on the passage", "implies" is used in the question, it means the answer is implied in the passage, that is, you have to get the meaning, it is not directly stated.(6 votes)
- My biggest problem is time management. I can never finish any of the sections on time. How do I solve this?(3 votes)
- All of the questions are waited the same, so you can skip time-consuming questions if you need to. You may answer more that way if you're consistently not finishing.(4 votes)