One big portion of the SAT writing section deals with identifying errors and improving sentences. In order to get a perfect score on this section, you will need to brush up your grammar rules really well. These questions precisely test your ability to recognize, apply and elucidate the effectiveness and accuracy of sentences. The language skills that you learn while preparing for this section will carry far beyond just the test day.
Let us read ahead to learn some tips and tricks for Identifying and help solving Sentence Errors Questions, in today’s post. Identifying sentence errors are the most common questions on the SAT writing section. This section comprises of a total of 18 questions out of 49 SAT writing questions.
The sentence error questions are relatively simple. You are not required to look for actual specific errors, but to look for the best way of framing a certain sentence. You will be provided with a sentence with underlined words or a phrase corresponding with answer choices A through E. Choice E is always NO ERROR, i.e. the sentence in its present form, assumed to be correct. SAT does not expect you to correct the sentence, but expects you to merely identify the error, so that a different way of saying the same thing would produce the sentence in its correct form and in conjunction with the other parts of the sentence.
Tips and Tricks for Identifying Sentence Errors Questions:
Here are some critical tips for the SAT Writing multiple choice section: Identifying Sentence Errors
- Follow norms of standard written English, which is very different from casual communication and also from formal scholarly writing.
- Read the entire sentence first. Try to reconstruct the sentence in your mind as best as you can before you look for options in the answer choices. Don’t just look at each choice on its own, see how they work with the rest.
- Watch out for common grammatical mistakes. Also, look for options that break grammatical rules or introduce a structural flaw in the sentence and eliminate such answer choices. Answers that seem obvious are not always so.
- Consider the verb tense. Such questions often have sentences with inconsistent verb tense, i.e, the sentence in entirety may be in future tense, but only an underlined portion is in past tense. Whenever a verb is underlined, look at the tense of the other verbs in the sentence.
- Mixing singular subjects with plural verbs (or vice-versa) is a very common error that is easy to pick. Find the subject and its corresponding verb, and make sure they match. For example, A lawyer must use their best judgment is incorrect. Because “lawyer” is singular, the pronoun also needs to be singular, either “his” or “her.”
- Remember you are not expected to make any correction in the original sentence.
- Sometimes the original sentence may be the best of all the options and it is so in 1 out of every 5 cases. You would mark this as the answer if you think the original sentence itself is clear and contains no errors.
Sentence improvement can get tricky. The best way to prepare is thorough practice, so try our the follow-up tests and give no chance for errors in your sentence correction portion of SAT writing.