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SAT Reading: Medical

divergent thinking and ask yourself the following questions when you see a new word.

  1. what are the simple synonyms for this word?
  2. why does the author use this word instead of other synonyms? (subtle differences among synonyms)
  3. collations contain this word
  4. does this word have root, prefix, etc?
  5. Any tool help me remember this word?
  6. Give 3 sentences using this word in different contexts. 

Change: good/like or bad/hate, small or big, sudden or slow

How to guess a word? Letter history


  1. ying vs yang
  2. Five basic elements
  3. generation among five elements; the opposition of yin and yang
  4. reinforce [counteract] each other; mutual promotion and restraint between the five elements; mutually reinforce [neutralize] each other 
  5. mutual generation and restriction参考例句:To reinforce or counteract each other

Every story has its two sides: good or bad. And inside of good part, there are restrictions. Inside of bad part, you see opportunities. 

In nature, everything has a mother and friend who nurture (generate) or support it. Everything has a natural enemy (predator) who limits it or its population. 

Read content and feel author’s feeling – like or dislike

hierarchy: big picture vs small detail



read questions: delete choices that are not in line with author’s general feeling

evidence: on mice, on people, some research and analysis


find at least two articles on covid. 

  1. understand the disease itself
  2. understand the shots and its development
  3. 3 stages of a drug
  4. why mask helps

Omicron Likely to Weaken COVID Vaccine Protection – Existing vaccines could be less effective against the fast-spreading coronavirus variant, but boosters should improve immunity. 


  1. Main idea
  2. Comparing to other variants, what are Omicron’s two characteristics?
  3. What’s in Omicron which affect the ability of antibiotics?
  4. What are two methods used to test how well Omicron can evade immunization?
  5. What are the findings of the first three teams? What are the findings of the fourth team?
  6. What are the conclusions drawn by the four teams?
  7. What’s the findings of Sigal’s team?
  8. According to PB study, is the third dose effective? How does the third dose compare to a previous case of COVID-19?
  9. What needs to be done?




compromise verb.  MW definition

  • tv. to cause the impairment of , damage, put in danger
    • The fast-spreading Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant is highly likely to compromise some of the protection from vaccines, suggest the first laboratory studies of Omicron’s ability to evade immunity.
    • illnesses can seriously compromise the immune system 
    • The affair seriously compromised the party’s prospects of electoral success.
  • iv. to make a shameful or disreputable concession: 
    • wouldn’t compromise with their principles
    • We are not prepared to compromise on safety standards.
  • (tv.  to reveal or expose to an unauthorized person and especially to an enemy)
    • Confidential information was compromised. 
  • (tv. to expose to suspicion, discredit, or mischief)
    • His reputation has been compromised. 



  • transitive verb
    1a: to analyze (something, such as an ore) for one or more specific components
    assayed the gold to determine its purity
    b: to judge the worth of : ESTIMATE
    assay the results of the new changes
  • v. analyze, anatomize, break down, cut, deconstruct, dissect
  • v. “to test or evaluate” (as in “the blood was assayed to detect the presence of the antibody”).
  • intransitive verb
    : to prove up in an assay
  • N. 1: examination and determination as to characteristics (such as weight, measure, or quality)
    2: analysis (as of an ore or drug) to determine the presence, absence, or quantity of one or more components
    also : a test used in this analysis
    3: a substance to be assayed
    also : the tabulated result of assaying
    • Scientists used two types of laboratory assay to test how well Omicron can evade neutralizing, or virus-blocking, antibodies triggered by vaccination and infection.
    • Despite differences in the labs’ results — which are common in such virus neutralization assays — the conclusions are similar, and show that Omicron’s effects on neutralizing antibodies are “not complete knockouts”, says Murrell. “The magnitude is still a little up for question.”


  •  “to try or attempt” (as in “he will essay a dramatic role for the first time”)


transitive verb

: to make better or more tolerable

medicine to ameliorate the pain

intransitive verb

: to grow better

IMPROVE, BETTER, HELP, AMELIORATE mean to make more acceptable or to bring nearer a standard. 


IMPROVE and BETTER are general and interchangeable and apply to what can be made better whether it is good or bad.  

measures to further improve the quality of medical care   

immigrants hoping to better their lot  


HELP implies a bettering that still leaves room for improvement.  

a coat of paint would help that house  


AMELIORATE implies making more tolerable or acceptable conditions that are hard to endure.  

tried to ameliorate the lives of people in the tenements 




RELIEVE, ALLEVIATE, LIGHTEN, ASSUAGE, MITIGATE, ALLAY mean to make something less grievous

RELIEVE implies a lifting of enough of a burden to make it tolerable.  

took an aspirin to relieve the pain  


ALLEVIATE implies temporary or partial lessening of pain or distress.  

the lotion alleviated the itching  


LIGHTEN implies reducing a burdensome or depressing weight.  

good news would lighten our worries  


ASSUAGE implies softening or sweetening what is harsh or disagreeable.  ocean breezes assuaged the intense heat  


MITIGATE suggests a moderating or countering of the effect of something violent or painful.  the need to mitigate barbaric laws  

ALLAY implies an effective calming or soothing of fears or alarms.  allayed their fears 



transitive verb

1: to make chemically neutral

2a: to counteract the activity or effect of : make ineffective

propaganda that is difficult to neutralize


3: to make electrically inert by combining equal positive and negative quantities

4: to invest (a territory, a nation, etc.) with conventional or obligatory neutrality conferring inviolability during a war

5: to make neutral by blending with the complementary color

6: to give (a pair of phonemes) a nondistinctive form or pronunciation\t\ and \d\ are neutralized when pronounced as flaps

intransitive verb

: to undergo neutralization


The Real-World Effectiveness Of Face Masks Against Covid-19

For nearly two years face masks have been recommended as one of the front line defenses against infection with SARS-CoV-2. Until now, most of the evidence behind this recommendation — and my own opinion that we should adopt universal masking in public places — has been based on measurements in scientific experiments under laboratory conditions or information from investigation of particular events. Thus, some people have questioned whether face masks can be effective under real-world conditions. Now, for the first time, a study from California shows that they are.

Face masks are a nuisance. They are uncomfortable. They prevent us from seeing one another’s facial expressions, interfering with communication and the interpersonal connections that are so important for well-being through these last two years. Moreover, we know face masks aren’t perfect. Still, they might be good enough to make the inconvenience worthwhile. In my opinion, this study shows that they are.

The new study, conducted by the California Department of Public Health and published in the CDC’s journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, was a case-control design. People who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were demographically matched against other people who were not positive. Both groups were asked about their masking behavior in the preceding two weeks.

Statistical analysis showed that the odds of infection were about half for people who reported wearing a mask in public compared with people who didn’t. (Results of this study are reported in terms of “odds ratios” which are related to relative risk, but not quite the same thing.) For people who wore masks “all of the time” (instead of “some of the time” or “most of the time”) the estimated effect was even more significant.

A second part of the study sought to differentiate between cloth masks, surgical masks, and N95/KN95 respirators. Not unexpectedly, N95/KN95s were found to reduce the odds of infection compared with people who didn’t wear any mask. To me, the surprising thing is how effective they were, reducing the relative odds by 83%. Cloth masks and surgical masks were found to be less effective.

One worrisome finding of the study is that the evidence for a protective effect in people who reported wearing a mask only “some of the time” (compared with “most of the time” or “all of the time”) is very weak. This might be due to the relatively small number of people who only wore their mask some of the time (less than 10% of study participants). But, it’s probably true that inconsistent or infrequent use just doesn’t provide as much protection. 

There are some weaknesses with the study. The biggest one is that the number of participants in the study was just too small to make very precise estimates of effectiveness. So, for instance, although the best estimate of risk reduction due to wearing an N95/KN95 is 0.17, the confidence interval ranges all the way from 0.05 to 0.64.  For this reason, statistical tests seeking to make fine-grained distinctions between the effectiveness of different masks types or usage patterns were inconclusive. 

What wasn’t inconclusive was the effectiveness of masks in general, even when not used all of the time, and the pattern of increasing effectiveness with the type of mask and frequency of use. This is consistent with the CDC’s current guidance that everyone wears the most protective mask they can, that fits well and will be worn consistently.

Comprehension: The Goal of Reading

Comprehension, or extracting meaning from what you read, is the ultimate goal of reading. Experienced readers take this for granted and may not appreciate the reading comprehension skills required. The process of comprehension is both interactive and strategic. Rather than passively reading text, readers must analyze it, internalize it and make it their own.


Using Prior Knowledge/Previewing

When students preview text, they tap into what they already know that will help them to understand the text they are about to read. This provides a framework for any new information they read.


When students make predictions about the text they are about to read, it sets up expectations based on their prior knowledge about similar topics. As they read, they may mentally revise their prediction as they gain more information.

Identifying the Main Idea and Summarization

Identifying the main idea and summarizing requires that students determine what is important and then put it in their own words. Implicit in this process is trying to understand the author’s purpose in writing the text.


Asking and answering questions about text is another strategy that helps students focus on the meaning of text. Teachers can help by modeling both the process of asking good questions and strategies for finding the answers in the text.

Making Inferences

In order to make inferences about something that is not explicitly stated in the text, students must learn to draw on prior knowledge and recognize clues in the text itself.


Studies have shown that students who visualize while reading have better recall than those who do not (Pressley, 1977). Readers can take advantage of illustrations that are embedded in the text or create their own mental images or drawings when reading text without illustrations.

Expository Text

Expository text explains facts and concepts in order to inform, persuade, or explain.

The Structure of Expository Text

Expository text is typically structured with visual cues such as headings and subheadings that provide clear cues as to the structure of the information. The first sentence in a paragraph is also typically a topic sentence that clearly states what the paragraph is about.

Expository text also often uses one of five common text structures as an organizing principle:

  • Cause and effect
  • Problem and solution
  • Compare and contrast
  • Description
  • Time order (sequence of events, actions, or steps)

Teaching these structures can help students recognize relationships between ideas and the overall intent of the text.

Main Idea/Summarization

A summary briefly captures the main idea of the text and the key details that support the main idea. Students must understand the text in order to write a good summary that is more than a repetition of the text itself.

A K-W-L chart can develop reading comprehension skills for expository text


There are three steps in the K-W-L process (Ogle, 1986):

  1. What I Know: Before students read the text, ask them as a group to identify what they already know about the topic. Students write this list in the “K” column of their K-W-L forms.
  2. What I Want to Know: Ask students to write questions about what they want to learn from reading the text in the “W” column of their K-W-L forms. For example, students may wonder if some of the “facts” offered in the “K” column are true.
  3. What I Learned: As they read the text, students should look for answers to the questions listed in the “W” column and write their answers in the “L” column along with anything else they learn.

After all of the students have read the text, the teacher leads a discussion of the questions and answers.

pointer Printable K-W-L chart (blank)

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers provide visual representations of the concepts in expository text. Representing ideas and relationships graphically can help students understand and remember them. Examples of graphic organizers are:

Tree diagrams that represent categories and hierarchies

Tree diagram graphic organizer

Tables that compare and contrast data

Comparison table graphic organizer

Time-driven diagrams that represent the order of events

Time-driven graphic organizer

Flowcharts that represent the steps of a process​

Flowchart graphic organizer

Teaching students how to develop and construct graphic organizers will require some modeling, guidance, and feedback. Teachers should demonstrate the process with examples first before students practice doing it on their own with teacher guidance and eventually work independently.



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