Take a crack at this practice set; it’s based last week’s post Sense of Grammar for Improving Sentences.
For many test-takers, these are the toughest questions in the Writing Section. You have five different versions of a sentence, each one slightly tweaked, but all sounding the same after you’ve read each one. This is the wrong strategy, but one that many test-takers automatically resort to: they read each sentence in its entirety! This is not only time-consuming, but frustrating because it gets you lost in a jumble of words.
Oh “it”—how you love to plague SAT test takers. Innocuously—coyly even—you call out, “I’m a safe bet; pick me”. And the test taker will take you in his or her arms, repeat the phrase in which you’ve seductively secreted yourself into, and trust you. But no more! We’re on to you, ‘it’. We’re going to […]
Give yourself 45 seconds and see if you can solve the following question. You might have been tempted to pick (A). But wait a sec…only one of the redwoods has the largest trunk diameter. So that is fine. (C) might sound weird but “uses” is simply the second verb (“includes…uses”). (D) is fine because “itself” […]
Take a look at the following two sentences: 1) The midterm exam was graded the teacher. 2) The teacher graded the midterm exam. The first one uses passive tense (“graded by the teacher”). In English class—and in writing in general—this use of the passive tense is taboo. So you can bet the SAT would always […]
The most common type of questions on the Writing section is called “Improving Sentences”. You probably know these guys: they are the questions in which there is an underlined part of a sentence and you have to figure out which of the five answer choices represents an improvement over the original sentence. Known to few […]
There are plenty of “tricks” to taking the SAT out there, and a whole lot of them are shams. Yes, the College Board is sneaky, and the SAT is full of trap answers. But there’s not really any single rule you can follow to avoid those traps. For example, even though the word “never” can […]
Before we answer the question, let’s review the types of SAT writing questions. Two kinds of writing multiple choice questions always have an option to leave the sentence or phrase as it is; identifying sentence error questions have the option of (E), “No error,” and improving sentence questions always repeat the underlined section without any […]
I’ve mentioned before that the SAT includes a number of writing questions that check whether you’re inclined to overuse the passive voice. And I’ve mentioned that I don’t think it’s a very fair thing to assess, but there is a reason why the College Board built it into the test. The passive tends to make […]
For the most part, the sentences and passages that the SAT gives you in the writing sections have purely grammatical errors. For example, there may be problems in number or tense, or you’ll see some run-on sentences or fragments. That is, if there are any errors at all. In both “improving sentences” and “identifying sentence […]