SAT English test has two parts. They are:
1. Grammar, 2. Essay.
Two types of grammar questions are asked in SAT Examination:
b. Improving Sentences
c. Improving paragraphs [Revision questions, Combination questions, and Content questions]
d. Vocabulary (fill in the blanks)
I. Error ID
An error ID question gives you a sentence that has four words or phrases underlined, each with a corresponding letter underneath. At the end of each sentence will be "No error" -- choice E.
Example: This (A) is an example (B) of an Error ID question that( C) has (D) no error. No error.(E)
Things to remember:
Ø There is never more than one error per sentence.
Ø If there is an error it's, it's always underlined.
Ø Approximately 20 percent of all error ID questions are correct as written, so don't be afraid to pick choice E.
Ø Error IDs are short, and you should usually be able to eliminate at least one answer choice, so guess on all error ID questions.
Ø Do error ID questions first.
II. Improving Sentences
Improving sentences questions give you a sentence, part or all of which is underlined. The underlined part may or may not contain a grammatical error.
Example: This is an example of an improving sentences question that does not contain an error.
(A) that does not contain
(B) that has not been containing
(C) which has not been contain
(D) which is not being with
(E) about which there is nothing to indicate it being with
Things to remember:
Ø Answer choice A is a reprint of the underlined section. Therefore, if you decide that the sentence contains no error, choose answer choice A.
Ø Approximately 20 percent of all improving sentences questions are correct as written, so don't be afraid to pick choice A.
Ø If you decide the underlined portion of the sentence contains an error, eliminate choice A. Also, eliminate any other choice that does not fix the error.
Ø KISS: Keep It Short and Sweet. Concise answers are preferable.
Note: The Grammar sections really test only five basic grammatical concepts:
1. Sentence structure
6. Other little things
6. Other little things
III. Improving paragraphs
The improving paragraphs questions require you to make corrections to a "first draft" of a student's essay to improve it. The essay is typically three or four paragraphs long, and each paragraph contains numbered sentences.
Things to remember:
- Instead of wasting a lot of time reading the rough draft, skim it only for the main idea and structure. Then directly go to the questions. There are far more errors in the passage than you will ever be asked about -- reading the passage first will waste your time and confuse you.
- For many of the questions, the sentences you need to fix are reprinted right under the question, so you won't necessarily need to go back to the paragraph to answer a question.
- Three basic types of questions are asked:
1. Revision questions: These questions ask you to revise sentences or parts of sentences in much the same way as improving sentences questions do.
In context, which is the best way to revise sentence 6.
Part of the problem is my skating, as in I am not very good at it.
(A) One of the problems was my limited skating ability.
(B) Not skating well was a big problem of mine.
(C) A problem was that my skating needed to be better than it was.
(D) Of my problems, I would say that my bad skating was the biggest.
(E) Skating, I am not very good at it, was part of my problems.
2. Combination questions: These questions ask you to combine two or more sentences to improve the quality and/or flow of the paragraph.
Which of the following represents the most effective way to combine sentences 18 and 19?
The coaches at the camp really helped me a lot. They told me exactly what I needed to do to be better.
(A) The coaches who helped me a lot told me exactly what I needed to do be better.
(B) Those coaches at the camp who told me exactly what I needed to do to be better were the ones who helped me the most.
(C) Helping me a lot was the coaches, telling me exactly what I needed to do.
(D) By telling me exactly what was needed to be done by me the coaches helped me a lot.
(E)The coaches at the camp really helped me by telling me exactly what I needed to do to get better.
3. Content questions: these questions ask you about passage content, typically by asking you to insert a new sentence or paragraph.
(1) I'm not sure exactly how I turned out to be a hockey fan. (2) My father was always a big football fan, my mom loves baseball. (3) And my brothers and sisters don't like hockey, either. (4) In any case, I have loved hockey for as long as I can remember.
(5) But despite my love of hockey, I wasn't really that good at playing it.
Which of the following sentences, if added after sentence 4, would best serve to link the first paragraph to the second paragraph?
(A) I found it odd that I ended up loving hockey.
(B) I wanted to be more than just a passionate hockey fan, though.
(C) My brothers loved baseball, while my sisters were bigger fans of football.
(D) Perhaps it was my uncle, a big hockey fan, who helped me to love the game.
(E) Actually hockey is not a very popular sport in the United States.
Ø The sentence below has two blanks, each blank indicating that something has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five words or sets of words labelled A through E. Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole
Hoping to ------- the dispute, negotiators proposed a compromise that they felt would be ------- to both labour and management.
(A) enforce . . useful
(B) end . . divisive
(C) overcome . . unattractive
(D) extend . . satisfactory
(E) resolve . . acceptable
Answer : E
The essay is always the first question on the SAT. Students are given 25 minutes to respond to the question by writing an essay in longhand on the answer sheet, using a No. 2 pencil. The essay measures a student's ability to:
· Develop a point of view on an issue presented in an excerpt
· Support a point of view using reasoning and examples from their reading, studies, experience, or observations
· Follow the conventions of Standard Written English
Students are given a prompt or assignment, which is a short (no more than 80 words long) quotation or statement on an issue that is carefully selected to:
· Enable students to react and respond quickly in a variety of ways
· Be easily accessible to the general test-taking population, including students for whom English is a second language (ESL)
· Be free of figurative, technical, or specific literary references
Sample essay prompt
Here is a sample essay prompt:
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.
Even scientists know that absolute objectivity has yet to be attained. It's the same for absolute truth. But, as many newspaper reporters have observed, the idea of objectivity as a guiding principle is too valuable to be abandoned. Without it, the pursuit of knowledge is hopelessly lost.
Adapted from "Focusing Our Values," Nieman Reports
Assignment: Are people better at making observations, discoveries, and decisions if they remain neutral and impartial? Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
# of Questions
35 minutes (one 25-minute section and one 10-minute section)
The content covered in the multiple-choice writing questions includes:
# of Questions
Identifying sentence errors