SAT Reading Practice Questions

Passage-Based Reading

Register Next Tests:
12/5 , 1/23


  1. Read the passage carefully.

  2. Decide on the best answer to each question, and then read the explanation for the correct answer.

Start Practicing

Example - Try It Out

  • Please enter an answer.

Some of the reading passages in the SAT are as short as a paragraph or two, about 100 words in length. You will also find one or more pairs of related short passages in each edition of the test. Such material can be followed by two to five questions that measure the same kinds of reading skills as are measured by the questions following longer passages.

The questions are based on the content of the passages; questions following a pair of related passages may also be based on the relationship between the paired passages. Answer the questions on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passages and in any introductory material that may be provided.

Some questions, like the example below, ask you to recognize the meaning of a word as it is used in the context of the passage.

View Passage 1

In line 5, "surveying" most nearly means

Correct! Try Again

Show me the answer


The word "surveying" has a number of meanings, several of which are included in the choices above. In the context of this passage, however, only (B) makes sense. A student in the field of "paleontology" is one who studies prehistoric life as recorded in fossil remains. One of the activities of such a student would be to examine rocks carefully and "comprehensively" while looking for fossils.

  • (A), (C), and (E) are incorrect because someone who studies fossils would not calculate the "value" of rocks, or determine the "boundaries" of rocks, or conduct a "statistical study" of rocks.
  • (D) is wrong because "polling" rocks makes no sense at all.

Official SAT Study Guide

Official SAT Study Guide

When it comes to getting answers, go to the source. This is the only guide with actual practice tests from the creators of the SAT. Review concepts and test-taking approaches, take 10 practice tests, and receive estimated scores.


The Official SAT Online Course™

Official SAT Online Course

The Official SAT Online Course features interactive lessons, auto essay scoring, and much more. It's personalized, comprehensive, easy to use, and available anytime and anywhere. Sign up, and you get 10 online tests, interactive lessons, and essay scoring.