Prep strategies for the SAT writing and language section
Posted on October 7, 2020
The writing and language section is an important part of the SAT exam and if you use the right prep strategies for this section, you can get a good score in this section which will improve your overall score in the SAT exam.
Assess your knowledge of English
Before you start your preparation for this section, take a diagnostic test to assess your level of knowledge in English grammar and the weak areas you will need to concentrate on.
Get familiar with the format
Go through prep material and sample papers to gain knowledge of the format of the test especially the writing and language section.
Know your weak areas
If you know your weak areas, you can concentrate on improving them. The best way to do this is to take SAT practice tests.
Write more practice tests
In order to take practice tests, you need to be prepared. You need to set aside time, ideally once a week, ideally on a Saturday morning, to keep putting what you’ve learned throughout the week into effect. Cramming is just not going to cut it for the SAT test.
Use the guessing strategy effectively
What this suggests is obviously deleting wrong responses and then every time guessing the same letter (unless it’s one you’ve already eliminated). You should follow this strategy: “I will always choose A until I know that A is incorrect, then I will always choose B,” or other letters. This will improve the statistical odds of getting this technique to win you points and improve your score.
Master answering questions in minimum time
The time pressure on the SAT Writing and Language section is a problem area for students. And yes, practice will aid in this. Collect SAT Writing and Language practice tests. Divide them into sets of ten. While timing yourself, do the first set of 10, then record your time at the top of the sheet. Keep returning to these practise issues while you prepare, shaving 5 or 10 seconds off your time and finishing the set within those limits. Repeat until, on average, you can answer a question in 45 seconds.
Keep an error log
You can find it difficult to spot error patterns in your SAT Writing practice if you are scoring above 700. You can only miss one verb question, or one idiom question, or one noun phrase question … and knowing how to improve can be very difficult. Keep a notebook in which you write down all the questions you miss, as well as their answers and how to get to those correct answers, to combat this problem. You just start spotting some trends, but even if you don’t, you’ll understand how to solve such problems on the test day.
Use a practice test strategy
A major secret to a good test performance is full-length SAT practice exams. But on the other hand, getting a sense of the pacing of a full-length section of SAT Writing and Language is also significant. So, while your weekly practice tests should not be substituted, 35-minute practice in a specific section is a (time-friendly) way to help increase your score.
Do not ignore your strong areas
Students who are scoring particularly high have the tendency to focus on those last few points to the detriment of what they’ve already learned! Keep practicing what you’re good at, so you don’t get rusty as you bring your score up as high as possible.
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