The SAT reading test is a challenge, even for experienced readers of English. There will always be unfamiliar language and vocabulary used in literary passages, no matter how much studying a student has done in the past. However, there are ways to give yourself a head start before your SAT class even begins.
First, read different types of novels. The reading test includes selections from classic literature such as the works of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. Because such books were written hundreds of years ago, they use words not commonly seen in more modern works. Moreover, many of the reading selections are by authors of different ethnic backgrounds. You can expect to read things by Hispanic, African-American and Asian authors, in addition to classic works by Europeans. Try to get started and find some appropriate books early to give yourself an idea of what to expect.
Second, you need to remember that speed is crucial. Regardless of how long a selection is, you need to be reading and comprehending them as quickly as possible. The faster you can skim through a page, the more time you have to consider the questions. Try looking at speed reading activities online to help yourself prepare. You might also time yourself while reading a novel. See how quickly you can finish one page, and then try to beat that time on the next page, and so on. If you can increase your reading speed by even a few words per minute, you give yourself a boost on the timed test.
There are a lot of strategies that help give students a chance at a higher reading score, but you don’t need to wait until class time to start preparing and improving.