Tips for Evidence Based Writing Section

December 26, 2016
Importance of Quadrilaterals in the SAT/ACT
February 12, 2017

In this section we shall discuss a few grammar rules that are tested in the Writing section of the New SAT.

  1. Its/ it’s/ its’

Students tend to have the most difficulty in using ”ITS”. Hence, most times the answer to the question is ”ITS” (the possessive case). Remember, ITS’ (apostrophe after S) does not exist in English language. It is smartly introduced into the passage to confuse the students. Note, IT’S is the short form of IT IS.

Look at the example below:

Dubai is a city known for it’s many tourist attractions. Its the most visited city in the world. (wrong)

Dubai is a city known for its many tourist attractions. It’s the most visited city in the world. (correct)

  1. Redundancy

When the answer choices are grammatically right and state the same information, remember to pick the most concise and clear answer choice. Let’s look at a question from the New SAT test:

In the popular imagination today, Harpers Ferry is still seen as a crucial place of great importance during the civil war.

  2. Place
  3. Place that was important
  4. Place where a great deal happened

If we notice the answer choices, we see that all the choices are similar. Be smart and

pick out the clearest choice without being redundant. The word before the underlined

phrase is crucial, which means of great importance. Hence, we can eliminate A, C & D.

  1. Misplaced Modifier

 Let’s look at another question from the Writing section of the New SAT.

Although printed cheaply and for quick consumption, today’s experience of culture is largely shaped by dime novels.

  2. We experience culture the way we do because of dime novels.
  3. Dime novels have shaped the way we experience culture today.
  4. The shape of dime novels influences of cultural experiences.

From the dependent clause before the comma we can clearly identify that it’s the dime novels that were printed cheaply and for consumption. Hence, the words ”dime novels” must be placed after the comma next to the modifier phrase. So, we can eliminate A, B & D.

The rules are quite straight forward, but you need to start early and keep practicing the rules. Option SAT Dubai has trained numerous students for the Old & New SAT. We walk the test with you and each session is a step forward towards a better score.

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