SAT Writing Practice Questions

Improving Sentences

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  1. Read the entire sentence carefully but quickly and ask yourself whether the underlined portion is correct or whether it needs to be revised.

  2. Read choices (A) through (E), replacing the underlined part with each answer choice to determine which revision results in a sentence that is clear and precise and meets the requirements of standard written English.

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Example - Try It Out

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Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book and she was sixty-five years old then.
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Look carefully at the underlined portion of the sentence because it may have to be revised. Keep in mind that the rest of the sentence stays the same. Follow the two outlined steps in answering each Improving Sentences question.

  • In the example above, connecting the two ideas ("Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book") and ("she was sixty-five years old then") with the word "and" indicates that the two ideas are equally important. The word "and" should be replaced to establish the relationship between the two ideas.

Remember that choice (A) is the same as the underlined portion. Even if you think that the underline does not require correction and choice (A) is the correct answer, it is a good idea to read each choice quickly to make sure.

  • The word "and" indicates that the two ideas it connects are equally important. No.
  • Replacing the word "and" with "when" clearly expresses the information that the sentence is intended to convey by relating Laura Ingalls Wilder's age to her achievement. Yes, but continue to look at the other revisions.
  • Using the word "at" results in a phrase that is not idiomatic. No.
  • The phrase "upon the reaching of" also results in a phrase that is not idiomatic. No.
  • The phrase "at the time when she was sixty-five years old" is awkward and wordy. No.

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