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SAT Secret 12: The SAT Reading Test: Synthesis

SAT Secret 12: The SAT Reading Test: Synthesis

What is synthesis?

One of the question types you’ll see on the SAT Reading Test is called synthesis: these questions ask you to draw conclusions and make connections between 2 related passages or between passages and informational graphics. 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.Sub-topics within synthesis:

Analyzing multiple texts.

Questions will ask you to synthesize information from paired texts.

The first step to approaching questions like this is to make sure you understand the point that each passage is making – if you can’t say it in your own words, then you don’t really understand it!

Analyzing quantitative information.

Questions will ask you to analyze information from graphs, charts, tables, and other graphics in relation to the text.

Focus on the key words in the question – in this case, “purines” and “yeast DNA.” Then, find those words in the passage or the graphic. “Yeast” is the second row from the bottom of the table. You’re probably going to need to figure out which of the four bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine and thymine) are “purines.”

Before you can answer this question, you need to make sure you understand what the “authors’ proposed pairing” is. Find that info in the passage and say it in your own words. Once you do that, you can move to the next step and check the table to see if the data agrees with that “pairing.”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 types of items you will encounter.

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