Since our lines are about 1.5 times as wide as those you will see on the SAT (we’re SAT gurus, not web design gurus as you can probably already tell), our passage may appear to be shorter. However, it will take you roughly the same amount of time to read as a “real one”.

In all honesty though, the SAT passages are often times a bit more interesting. Do not use the test time to read these though. If, by some weird chance, you become captivated by a passage, you can read more about the passage’s material after the test — on your time!


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As a communications specialist, I teach my students to become more aware of interpersonal communication such as symbolic behavior, use of words, and nonverbal mannerisms. My goal is to ignite symbols in their minds so we can come to a point of agreement on language. I immensely enjoy the work because life is becoming more this way — persuade people to accept your point of view. We are both communicating and persuadable animals. It’s not unethical and I train my students in an ethical manner. Many of my peers have left academia and taken up positions in business. They tend to become human resources officers.

Happiness in job behavior is directly related to profits. If you get your employees to trust you, then you will increase your profits. This is why professionals in my field are so highly valued. Many famous psychologists reach over into communications and many study my field so they can learn more about interpersonal relationships. Whether it’s John Miller at the office or Bill Clinton attending a political fundraiser, communications is important in everything we do.

The majority of research is centered around conflict communication. There is definitely a strong desire to learn the proper steps to be taken to maintain a cool, rational process. I believe the increase in interest in communications can be traced to the Cuban missile crisis. Our research has made great strides in a relatively short period of time. We now know that it sometimes truly is more effective to have a spokesperson with a robotic, or monotonous if you will tone.

This type of spokesperson is often most effective in crisis situations because their relative lack of emotion can signal that heads are remaining cool and problems are being dealt with effectively. This was illustrated wonderfully by the U.S. military spokespeople during the first Persian Gulf war. While we have studied military communications, we have most of our work in the area of business communications. We now regularly consult companies on how to conduct job interviews.

We have learned that most interviewers make up their minds about a job candidate within the first 5 minutes of the interview. We have also discovered why this is and we will tell companies what is productive and counterproductive about these interviews and hiring managers. We also conduct work on how to handle other business issues such as earnings releases and product recalls. Communication specialists do have a sense of power and many people will argue it is a grave misuse of power. When someone has enough power over behavior, the argument can be raised that it is a grave abuse of power.


The following passage chronicles an interview between a communications professor and the author.