What was the Writing Section on the earlier SAT, is the Wrting and Language Section on the new SAT. This section, comprising of 44 Questions to be completed in 35 minutes, is the second section of the test.
Interestingly, the essay is no longer part of this section. The essay is separate, and is optional for test-takers. Although there are colleges that insist on receiving the Essay score, there are others who do not require these scores. Upenn, and recently Columbia, have selected to not require the essay scores from applicants.
Passage Based Questions: On the new SAT Writing and Language Section, the questions are based on 4 passages, and look a lot like the questions on the ACT English section. Testing is done on knowledge of grammar, writing style, and the content of the passages. The questions will ask you to edit an underlined portion of the passage, direct you to a specific location in the passage, or have you think about the passage as a whole.
The old SAT Writing tested knowledge of good old grammar rules. On the new SAT, there are far fewer questions testing knowledge of these rules, and there are more writing style questions. The new SAT focuses on testing knowledge of clear, concise, and logical writing.
Punctuation was not tested on the old SAT. The only punctuation rule test takers had to learn was the ‘splice comma’ rule which was oft explained in terms of the run-on sentence structure. The New SAT dishes out a good number of questions pertaining to punctuation and so it is imperative for test-takers to be well-versed with apostrophe ‘s’, semi-colon, colon, parenthesis etc.
On the old SAT Writing, there were no graphs or charts. The redesigned SAT Writing has data interpretation questions on which one has to determine how and whether the data from a graph or chart fits in the passage.
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