I thought I would start a new thread based on a comment by kcab in the School Boards thread about the SAT reading comprehension section. The question is how much general reading helps versus specific practice. Also, how much won't help at all. I have a lot of difficulty with some of these questions and I wouldn't know how to fix it. Here is an example:
The following line is from a SAT excerpt where the author really(!) dislikes the way science was being taught (in 1939).
(24) "As to the learning of scientific method, the whole thing is palpably a farce."
3. The word ‘palpably’ (line 24) most nearly means
The answer is B.
How do you learn this by just reading? I've always seen papable used by authors to mean much more than "obvious". How would you learn this by studying definitions?
Palpable - Capable of being handled, touched, or felt; tangible
Obviously - unmistakably; clearly apparent
Markedly - in a clearly noticeable manner; conspicuously
In the answer section, they talk about substituting the different words in for palpably, but isn't that different than what they ask for? They wanted to know what it "most nearly means".
I used to teach a SSAT prep class and I would tell students that this sort of reading is unlike anything they've done before. I called it technical reading. Some people do well on these questions. Why?