Writing Section Strategies

  • Know your grammar rules. This is the single most important key to success on this section.Most of the questions are rules-based; knowing the rules makes things much easier.
  • Learn the traps. The SAT likes to confuse students with things that seem right at first glance. Learn the common tricks they use to mislead students.
  • Use your ear (mouth). While you can’t read out loud during the actual test, you can mouth the words as you read the answer choices. If something “sounds” wrong, it probably is.

Rules for Answering:

  • Start with the shortest answer. The SAT favors the most concise answer. If DELETE is anoption, check that first. If not, check the shortest answer.
  • Casual language = bad. Slang or informal language will never be correct on the SAT. Always rule out answers that use informal language.
  • Eliminate wrong answers. Some question types (like combining sentences) are best approached by finding what is wrong with 3 of the answers rather than picking the one right answer.
  • No passive voice! An answer choice with passive voice will never be correct. Passive voice is when you turn the object of a sentence into the subject. Instead of “Anna ate the apple”, it would be the apple was eaten by Anna.