The New SAT Grammar Rules

The New SAT Grammar Rules

The new SAT has changed the format of their SAT writing section. Before you buckle up your belts for SAT English test, you must understand the nitty-gritty of grammar. However, it is never easy to grasp all the rules of grammar as they actually run in billions precisely. But, fret not as you need not gulp them all to ace this test. There are certain basic concepts that must be understood in totality.

The College Board writes English Writing and Language questions around these New SAT Grammar Rules:

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Sentence Clauses

Basically, a sentence is made of two or more clauses that may be independent or dependent. SAT often tests your ability to identify errors in joining these clauses. It requires students to work on fixation of fragmented sentences, using dependent clauses and splitting of run on sentences.

For fragmented sentences, fix them by connecting to an independent clause or by adding a verb or subject missing from it. Run-on sentences can be fixed by adding ‘Which’ or ‘Because’ for explanation, using comma, or conjunction, or by splitting one sentence into two parts. In case of dependent clauses, treat them as singular nouns to fix it.

Parts of Speech

We are all aware of parts of speech. They are basic to English grammar but still they can be the game spoiler in your SAT test. The simplest rule to remember is ensuring that in every sentence, verbs match with their subjects with consistent tenses. Also, there should be parallel verbs in every sentence.

Singular, Plural and Possessive

Although preliminary to every English learner, yet this can get tricky in SAT. So, be prepared with the rules like understanding confusing words that sound like a plural but are singular and vice versa. It also requires you to understand that you can add ‘s’ to a plural noun that doesn’t own anything, put ‘apostrophe+ s’ at the end of possessive singular nouns, and apostrophe to plural possessive nouns.

Collective Nouns

This is another classic area where mistakes are made by students. It’s important to understand during your SAT writing and language section that collective nouns such as team and group are singular subjects.


Prepositions should not be sued to identify the singular or plural nature of the subjects. Remember that the original noun tells you the right verb form.


The SAT throws a lot of trick sentences where it becomes difficult to connect the pronoun to its noun. Always ensure that your pronoun can be linked to a specific individual in the sentence.

Wrong Comparisons

You must understand two rules of comparisons that say you can compare only alike things and you should never compare something to all things of that category. Rather, you can compare something to all other things of that group. Never compare two wrong nouns.

Wrong Modifiers

SAT tests students for misplaced modifiers and dangling modifiers. In the former, it refers to a phrase that supposedly does not explain the thing it should and sounds like explaining something wrong. In the latter, phrases begin with sentence having a comma after it but not the right noun placed after the comma correctly. You have to fix them correctly.

Words in Context

While the newer SAT is not as vocab heavy as the older SAT, the test takers will still be benefited by strengthening the vocabulary. Make sure that you understand the words in context and void common pitfalls like homophones.


These are some grammar rules that you can learn apart from many others to glide through the SAT test.

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