10 Expert Tips for SAT Writing & Language | Winward Academy


10 Expert Tips for SAT Writing and Language

First, what is the structure for the SAT Writing and Language section?

This section has 44 questions in 35 minutes, which breaks down to 8 minutes 45 seconds per passage.

Now for the specific tips:

Doing well in the SAT Writing & Language section requires knowledge of standard English conventions, paragraph development and flow, and word choice. One unique feature of this SAT section, compared to the English section on the ACT, is that the SAT Writing & Language section includes questions on charts and graphs.

TIP 1: Argue well

Remember when you’re revising writing, you want an argument to be clear by using relevant details and evidence. You must be able to improve the way a passage develops information on this SAT section.

TIP 2: Embrace concision

You want to be short, sweet, and to the point, but you also want to make sure that the reader is going to understand what you’re saying. Also make sure that you’re being specific so that the person reading knows what you are talking about, while you use as few words as possible to communicate your intended message. Be precise and concise!

TIP 3: Match the existing meaning

When you revise words in context, look for the meaning of the blank. Choose answers that preserve that intended meaning, but remember to also present this message as precisely and concisely as possible.

TIP 4: Edit clearly

Make sure you’re clear when you clarify the sequence of information and when you connect a passage to the informational graphics.

TIP 5: Celebrate your inner grammarian

You have to know tons of grammar rules for this section, so plan ahead to master agreement, punctuation, parallelism, pronouns, and more.

TIP 6: Express ideas

Look to always improve organization, impact, and flow of ideas so they’re connected to each other logically

TIP 7: Practice with real tests

There are eight FREE SAT exams on College Board’s website. Use them to practice, and make sure you review your mistakes and learn from them before doing another timed practice.

TIP 8: Honor the tone

Consider that scientific writing would use formal, technical language versus a personal narration, which is more colloquial (conversational, informal). Look to whether the author expresses opinions to be persuasive or if he is trying to present a less biased view. These aspects of the writing will help you identify the tone.

TIP 9: Answer as you read

The side-by-side format makes it easy to answer as you go…it’s the most efficient approach but be sure to always read to their period. Don’t stop reading in the middle when you’re revising a sentence.

TIP 10: Love your English teacher

You are not going to be able to prepare for this test by cramming the night before. Embrace opportunities to learn throughout your academic journey: when you get a paper back from your English teacher with lots of edits…don’t just look at the grade and throw away your essay…review the edits!!! Embrace repeated exposure and experience with proper writing (yes, that means text messages should say “you’re nice” not “ur nice”).

The ultimate goal to prepare for this section is to recognize that the use of proper grammar should be second nature, not something you’re cramming to learn the night before your SAT test. The #1 thing Winward Academy students say is that they wish they focused on all the content in middle school, so that by the time they took the SAT they had mastered the grammar conventions!

So learn early and learn often! And be sure to also review the top 10 tips for SAT Reading and for SAT Math!

Good luck.

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About Winward Academy – Winward Academy is one of the world’s leading innovators in the online education space, providing web-based academic support that enhances students’ knowledge, confidence, and competitiveness in middle and high school academics and in college applications. We help thousands of students every year by providing personalized, comprehensive ACT and SAT test preparation and extensive math curriculum support. The Winward Academy learning platform honors over 40 years of education and cognitive psychology research, incorporating proven techniques that promote effective learning.

Winward Academy’s unmatched reputation is wholly attributable to our students’ exceptional success and to the trust earned among students, parents, and schools around the world.

Jennifer Winward, Ph.D.

Dr. Jennifer Winward is a renowned college instructor, a distinguished 20-year veteran of high school tutoring, and the founder and lead instructor of Winward Academy. She earned her Ph.D. specializing in adolescent brain development and adolescent learning. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude with highest distinction honors. Dr. Winward has been widely recognized for her academic success, published research, and philanthropic efforts with awards from the President of the United States, the California State Assembly, Rotary International, the Marin County School Administrator Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Science Foundation.