Reading Predict Answers Drill

After reading an ACT or SAT reading question, most students immediately turn to the answer choices, inviting with open arms the time-wasting and trickery that test authors include among these answers by design.

This drill is designed to help you think for yourself by writing your own answer to each reading question and justifying that answer with specific passage line references.

The Predict Answers drill comprises three parts:
  1. Master the Passage: Perform the same eat-the-passage-for-breakfast reading of the passage that we articulated and practiced in our Passage Mastery drill. Then, for each question in the ensuing question set...
  2. Predict the Answer: After carefully reading the question stem, IN YOUR OWN WORDS WITHOUT LOOKING AT ANSWER CHOICES, articulate IN WRITING a correct answer to the question. If your answer is a multiple choice letter like "C", skip the rest of this drill - if you're not careful enough to follow the drill directions, its potency is lost.
  3. Nail Your Answer to the Text: Answering correctly is not enough; now scan the passage and identify by line number in writing the one or more passage excerpts that justify your answer. This is how test authors justify their correct answers and is therefore how we do so, too.
Please note that this drill does not involve reading the answer choices - ever. Although you can and in fact should read the answer choices and select the correct one for your own edification upon completing the above drill for each question, please understand: the point of this drill is to empower you to produce articulate and well-justified answers in your own words without needing to look at answer choices.

Note: A small minority of reading questions actually require that you read the answer choices because they form part of the question. Wherever possible, do not audition answer choices if an answer to the question stem exists independently of the answer choices. However, in a case that genuinely requires viewing the answer choices in order to produce an answer, please do so.