new SAT writing & language section

6 Tips for New SAT’s Writing and Language Section

There can never be a perfect piece of writing no matter how numerous revisions you make. In the SAT Writing and Language section, you are asked to improve passages that contain all types of errors and weaknesses. What you get from the section will be combined with your reading score, and it requires a different kind of preparation. This is the first step you need to do in preparing for the new SAT Writing and Language section.

What changed in the SAT Writing exam?

The essence of the exam is to determine your capacity to understand and apply the conventions of the English language. This remains the same in the new section. The first difference you’ll notice is that the emphasis on the new version is on the usage of language in different contexts. This means that most, if not all, questions are passage-based and you are required to make improvements on the writing style, flow of ideas and the general meaning.

Problems that require you to complete sentences and identify errors have been eliminated. What remains is rewriting sentences and paragraphs so that they comply with the rules of punctuation and grammar.

How to Do Well in the Exam

Study Stage:

  1. Study grammar, usage and punctuation rules.

The first thing you need to do is gain stock knowledge. Go beyond memorization and deeply understand the rules. Do practice exams to yourself and be very strict with your evaluations. Apart from knowing the standard rules, make sure that you know their proper applications in writing. This will ingrain all the knowledge into your mind and make it easy to process later during the exam.


  1. Practice data reading and interpretation.

There are parts of the exam wherein you need to interpret a given set of data. This can be crucial for writing problems wherein you need to summarize or elaborate. Most writing questions will be about whether a particular sentence clearly and accurately conveys the information presented or something along the lines of command of evidence problems.


  1. Practice writing and then evaluate.

Knowing the theory is not enough. You need to apply it and the best way to do this is by practicing writing. You can ask someone knowledgeable to be your critic if you need help. You can practice during your classes by paying attention to how you write your notes. Read as many books as you can with complex passages. Make similar sentences for practice and then evaluate.


Exam Stage:


  1. Find out what you’re being asked to do.

Despite how similar passages look, most exams contain varied comprehension problems. To be efficient in recognizing what you need to do or being tested on, you have to be aware of the standard grammar and punctuation rules. If you know what the goal of the problem is, you will know how to find the solution.


  1. Make comparisons on your choices.

This is very useful if you are unsure of the right answer. It can also be considered an elimination method wherein you weed out the most obvious wrong answers and then compare the remaining viable ones. Pay attention to small hints on the paragraphs and you will be able to find the best option.


  1. Read selectively.

Reading takes up time. If you really need to go through the entire passage, then do so. However, if you know that the question is localized on a certain part, you can just read that part instead. To save time, skim through the entire paragraph to familiarize yourself with the sections. And then, find out where the questions are referring to. Only then should you take your time reading.

Your total SAT score is a combination of your math score and your combined writing and reading score out of 800. Thus, you can consider the writing exam as 25% of the total score. This is a large percentage that can greatly affect your overall rating. That is why, presence of mind is key in taking the test. As long as you remain focused and follow the tips above, you can rest assured that you’ll pass the exam in flying colors.

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