“Dual passages on SAT Reading Comp are my favorite things in the whole world!”

– No One Ever

Nothing kills the vibe of your test-taking flow quite like encountering a dual passage on SAT Reading. It’s a big enough drag that the first thing they make you do on the SAT is over an hour of mostly long, mostly boring Reading Comprehension passages — adding fuel to the fire by dropping a dual passage into the mix is downright cruel and unusual. 

It almost makes me want to smash my Fender in the middle of the lobby of the College Board headquarters, but that’s another story for another day. 

If taking the SAT is anything like playing a rock concert, it’s in the sense that timing is everything. If you’re hired to play a 45-minute set, then the audience and promoters alike are going to expect 45 minutes of music. Any rockstar worth their salt knows that part of their practice and preparation is down to timing out the set, making sure a beat is never missed so that all the songs are played perfectly —- neither rushing the music nor dragging it.

Well, on SAT Reading, the College Board is giving you 65 minutes to get through your set. 65 minutes?!? I’d do anything to book a set that long. Well, if I can stand in the middle of a stage rocking out for 45 minutes to a crowd packed with literally tens of concertgoers watching me, then surely you can get through over an hour of SAT Reading passages easily, right? After all, there are only five full passages to get through —- how hard could it be?

Okay, let me turn down my test prep enthusiasm amp for a moment and cool off…

Listen, you’re smart. There’s no point in trying to sell you on SAT Reading, and more importantly, why would I? Plus, I know you’ve most likely taken at least one practice SAT before, even if it was literally the PSAT. You know better than I do that SAT Reading is nowhere near as simple as I just laid out. At least rocking out is loud, exciting, and fun! If you can even manage to stay awake past the introductory fiction passage, you know that at some point down the road on your tour bus toward college admissions, you’re going to have to face the dreaded dual passages. 

Dual passages? Did I play the wrong chord just now? Passages as in plural, as in “two dual passages”? Let me check my tabs… nope, I had that right! Out of the six SAT Reading passages, two of them are going to be dual passages.

To make matters worse, all SAT Reading passages come with between 10 and 11 multiple-choice questions anyway, but now you have to compare two separate passages in order to determine the correct answer. Plus, as a result of the time constraints, you really can only afford to spend about 13 minutes per passage… to answer about 10 multiple-choice questions… on two Reading passages for the price of one. And you get to do this twice.

When you put everything that way, the dual passage on SAT Reading sounds about as much fun as having your drummer spontaneously combust onstage in a sold-out arena.

If you’re still reading, clearly I’m putting on some kind of a show here. You obviously see me as the SAT Reading Comp guitar hero you’ve always dreamed of. Hey, maybe I should be inducted into the SAT/ACT Test Prep Hall of Fame that just had its grand opening in my imagination. While you’re still here, let me lay down a few facts about the dual passage to put your mind at ease.

Besides, you can’t rock the SAT if you don’t know how to roll wit