The Essay

SAT Writing Practice Questions

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Multiple-choice writing questions focus on common problems associated with four characteristics of effective writing. Illustrations of problems are given below. The fifth category of questions requires recognition of correct sentences and effective writing strategies.

1. Being consistent

2. Expressing ideas logically

Writing Problem Sentence Illustrating the Problem Should be...
Coordination and subordination Tawanda has a rash, and she is probably allergic to something. Tawanda has a rash; she is probably allergic to something.
Logical comparison Nathan grew more vegetables than his neighbor's garden. Nathan grew more vegetables than his neighbor grew.
Modification and word order Barking loudly, the tree had the dog's leash wrapped around it. Barking loudly, the dog wrapped its leash around the tree.

3. Being clear and precise

Writing Problem Sentence Illustrating the Problem Should be...
Ambiguous and vague pronouns In the newspaper they say that few people voted. The newspaper reported that few people voted.
Diction He circumvented the globe on his trip. He circumnavigated the globe on his trip.
Wordiness There are many problems in the contemporary world in which we live. There are many problems in the contemporary world.
Improper modification If your car is parked here while not eating in the restaurant, it will be towed away. If you park here and do not eat in the restaurant, your car will be towed away.

4. Following conventions

Writing Problem Sentence Illustrating the Problem Should be...
Pronoun case He sat between you and I at the stadium. He sat between you and me at the stadium.
Idiom Natalie had a different opinion for her. Natalie had a different opinion of her.
Comparison of modifiers Of the sixteen executives, Naomi makes more money. Of the sixteen executives, Naomi makes the most money.
Sentence fragment Fred having to go home early. Fred has to go home early.
Comma splice Mary took time out of her busy schedule to visit her aunt, John decided to continue working through the summer. Mary took time out of her busy schedule to visit her aunt, but John decided to continue working through the summer.

5. Recognizing Effective Writing

Some sentences require students to recognize that there is no error.

Official SAT Study Guide

Official SAT Study Guide

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