New SAT Writing Skills: Changes And Prep Tips

The new SAT that was first conducted in March 2016, has unveiled a few major changes in the format. The Writing section of the SAT has gone through an interesting overhaul as well. The good news though is that you can still do well on the section if you are aware of the changes and prepare for them smartly.

Writing And Language section

Yes, that’s right; SAT Writing section is now Writing and Language skills. It combined with SAT Reading section will be scored on the scale of 800. The essay is not a part of this section anymore, and is optional. Sadly, for some of the colleges you apply to, the essay is mandatory.

Writing and Language skills, forms the second section of the test. In this section you will encounter 44 questions and you have 35 minutes to complete them. Seems tough? Well, let’s unravel the mysteries and look at some simple tips that will help you ace the section.

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Why is the section vastly different?

While we described the overall changes above, it’s important to pay attention to the new content and look of the section. You will notice that it is drastically different from the old SAT.

Passage based questions only

First thing you notice about the section is that it has done away with identify errors and sentence improvement questions. In fact there will be no isolated sentences and you will have to answer questions on four passages.

More style, less grammar

This might actually work to your advantage because questions on grammar rules were difficult. But the new SAT tests you on concise and logical writing by stressing on style related topics like word choice, macro logic and wordiness.

Punctuation is tested

While punctuation came into play only with run-on sentences earlier, now it is a more frequent occurrence in the section. You will have to be spot on with placement of commas, colons and semi-colons. But you can get a hang of it in no time.

Tips to do well in the section

  • Rather than grammar rules emphasize on word choice, sentence and paragraph construction.
  • In the new test you will encounter more reading comprehension questions; so read regularly.
  • Studying ACT English can help you with the section because they are similar.
  • Look at ACT Science in case to be better at reading data from charts and graphs.
  • Go through the new practice tests unveiled by the College Board and familiarize yourself.

Bearing these simple pointers in mind, you can do well in the writing section of New SAT.

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