SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Toolkits

The Academic Approach SAT Toolkit is a set of tools and instructional materials to help schools infuse SAT-level rigor into curriculum and incorporate targeted skills and practices into instruction.

Each Close Reading and Writing Toolkit includes:

  • 3 high-rigor passages across 3 genres (literature, history/social studies, and science), united by a common theme
  • Close reading, text-based questions for each passages, requiring critical thinking and application of SAT college-readiness power standards, including command of evidence, words in context, identifying implicit details, identifying explicit details, identifying claims and central ideas, analyzing text structure
  • Exemplar student responses for each question

How to use the toolkits:

  • Each cross-curricular unit includes 3-4 hours of content for students to read, answer questions, and defend their answers.
  • Use the exemplar answers to hold students to a high standard for rigorous, relevant answers—or provide to students to have them give feedback on each other’s responses.
  • For students struggling with reading comprehension, provide pre-annotated or highlighted versions of the PDF texts. Ask students to support the selection of annotations.
  • Assess writing skills in student writing—look for not only the most relevant and focused claims in their responses but also analyze their grammar skills. Requiring complete sentences and assessing for punctuation and usage will support student growth in writing as well as reading.

Lessons and Supplementary Materials

  • We’ve included our Grasp, Prove, and Eliminate lessons for critical reading and thinking on the SAT and ACT. These lessons guide students through the process of annotating a reading passage, selecting claims with supporting evidence, and eliminating incorrect answer choices. Use these lessons to apply the skills practiced in the toolkits to a college-entrance exam setting.
  • You’ll also find an exemplar guide to how holistic, evidence-based reading and writing is assessed on the SAT. Teachers can use this to identify how rigor is incorporated in different skills across the reading and writing sections and incorporate into their lesson planning.

For educators who use or our Formative Assessment Builder, we’ve created a guide for you to use as you switch from classroom to online instruction.