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SAT Tips: Writing and Language Test Section

The new SAT is made up of two main sections:
1. Math
2. Evidence based reading and writing.

The evidence based reading and writing section is made up of two tests.
1. The Reading Test
2. Writing and Language Test.

In this lesson, we will tell you about the Writing and Language Test.

The SAT Writing and Language Test is designed to assess how well you can revise and edit passages, about a range of academic and career related topics. The questions associated with the passages will put you in the role of someone revising and editing the work of an unspecified writer. They will ask you to improve the development, organization, and use of language in the passages. And to make sure that the passages follow conventions of standard written English grammar, usage, and punctuation.

You will see four passages with eleven questions associated with each passage.
You will have 35 minutes to read the passages, and to complete the questions.
There will be one passage each on a career related topic: history/social studies, humanities,
At least one will be argumentative, at least one will be informative/explanatory, and one will be nonfiction narrative. You should also expect to see a range of text complexity, from ninth grade on up to the first year in college, or post-secondary training.

Some passages, and sometimes some questions, on the writing and language test, include one or more tables, graphs, or charts, that relate to the topic of the passage. For example, a graph may provide additional support for a point made in a passage. Questions may ask you to use information from the graphic to correct a factual error in the passage, or to replace the passage's vague description with a more precise one using specific numbers. You'll never have to make corrections to the graphic itself.

All of the questions on the Writing and Language Test are multiple choice, and are based on the context of the passages. So you won't be tested on isolated skills, or asked to memorize specific grammar rules. The questions are designed to ask about the kinds of revisions and edits real writers make to a piece of writing. They're sorted into two main categories. Expression of ideas, and standard English conventions.

Questions that fall into the expression of ideas category, focus on the rhetorical elements of the piece of writing. In other words, the questions ask you to improve the development of the topic, the organization of information and ideas, and the effectiveness of language use.

Questions that fall into the standard English conventions category, focus on correcting grammar, usage, and mechanics problems in the passages. In other words, these questions may ask you to recognize and correct errors in sentence structure, such as run-ons, or rhetorically inappropriate fragments, usage, such as lack of subject-verb agreement, and punctuation, such as punctuating parenthetical element.

Rotate to landscape screen format on a mobile phone or small tablet to use the Mathway widget, a free math problem solver that answers your questions with step-by-step explanations.

You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.

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