Examinees can correctly answer many Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) readin
g items when the passages accompanying the items are missing. According to
one hypothesis, examinees use information from other reading items (cognate
s) belonging to the same passage. The purpose of this study was to test tha
t hypothesis for the revised SAT (SAT-I) reading task. Cognate information
was diminished by dispersing cognates among other reading items from 4 para
llel forms of the SAT-I. Examinee performance in this condition was inferio
r to performance in a control, where cognate information was readily availa
ble. Nonetheless, the correlation between performance and verbal SAT score
in the experimental condition remained high and equivalent to the control.
Examinees do seem to use cognate information when passages are missing on t
he SAT-I reading task, but such information is not among the no-passage fac
tors that systematically affect reading performance.