SAT Review of Improving Paragraphshttp://schooltutoring.com/help/wp-content/themes/osmosis/images/empty/thumbnail.jpg 150 150 Deborah Deborah http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/63fb4ad5c163b8f83de2f54371b9e040?s=96&d=mm&r=g
The Improving Paragraphs subtest of the SAT Writing Test allows students to demonstrate editing and revision skills on a larger scale than the Improving Sentences section. They are required to read portions of a rough draft of an essay and make judgments about word usage and organization. Questions are multiple-choice in this section.
Methods to Approach Questions
First, read the entire passage and the questions before settling on answers. Every sentence within the passage is usually numbered in order to make it easier to find specific phrases and errors. Since the essay is meant to be a draft, there may be several weak areas. Pay close attention to the question, as an answer can be true overall but not the best answer.
Wordiness is one of the most common errors that can be improved upon rewrite. Many writers struggle with redundant phrases that add little or nothing. It is enough to say that the paper is yellow, not yellow in color. Similarly, there are four sheets of yellow paper, but it is unnecessary to state that they are four in number. Four is already a number. Snow is weather, so one word can be cut from “snowy weather.” Expressions such as “the fact that,” “if you know what I mean,” or “in the truest sense of the word” fill space.
Students will have plenty of time to focus upon usage errors and wordiness in their own writing, as well as during practice sessions for the SAT. The first draft is an opportunity to get ideas on paper; a starting point rather than the finished product. During subsequent drafts, tighten writing by eliminating redundancies and empty phrases, as well as by fixing any grammar and usage errors. Practice at improving writing and recasting sentences will help on the Improving Paragraphs subtest of the SAT and college writing.
More Strategies for Test Preparation
The SAT subtest for Improving Paragraphs is arranged with questions that follow each passage, so questions that follow an essay excerpt are for that section only. It is easy to miss individual questions, so make sure to check that the test booklet and bubbles on the answer sheet refer to the same ones. Unlike the Identifying Sentence Errors and Improving Sentences writing tests, questions are not arranged in order from easy to hard.
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