What the Writing Section Actually Tests
What the Writing Section Actually Tests
Writing skills and grammar? While that may sound pretty broad and frightening, the truth about what the Writing section tests is not so extreme. First, remember that the essay section is only 25 minutes long. Nobody expects you to write a perfect and inspired piece of work in less than half an hour. In fact, the essay-graders mostly want to see that you can understand a topic and take a position. And that’s pretty much it. This chapter tells you the ingredients you’ll need for every SAT essay and provides a Universal SAT Essay Template that gives you a model essay pattern to follow.
The multiple-choice questions all test grammar. This chapter contains a crash course in the grammar that the SAT Writing section tests. As you’ll soon learn, you definitely don’t need to be a trained grammarian to do well on the Writing section. You don’t have to know any technical grammar terms at all. You simply need to know the basic rules of grammar that the SAT tends to test again and again. By learning the rules, you’ll train your ear to recognize where errors lurk in sentences and paragraphs, and how to fix them. The multiple-choice section does not test stuff like spelling or vocabulary. However, using proper spelling and appropriate vocabulary is very important on the SAT essay, since the SAT essay-graders consider your overall command of language when scoring your work.
The multiple-choice questions, combined with the essay, make up the entire SAT Writing section. We explain each multiple-choice question type and the essay in great detail later on in the chapter.
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