SAT WRITING WORKBOOK

PART VI

images

TESTS FOR PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE

images

Practice Test B Answer Key

SECTION 1—THE ESSAY

What follows are ideas for answering the essay question given in this practice test. The essay you wrote may contain some of the same or similar ideas. If not, however, don’t be alarmed. Because every essay is different, your approach to the question may be at least as valid as any of those described here:

A convincing argument can be made that life outside the classroom should be totally divorced from academic performance—in other words, that participation in athletics or any other school-sponsored program should not be related to grades. After all, you may know people who are disasters in the classroom but are super jocks. Should they be deprived of a satisfying life-affirming activity as well as the self-respect and stature that often come with superior athletic ability because they struggle in math or reading?

Taking the opposite point of view, you might argue that schools exist to educate young people for the future. Considering how few high school athletes turn professional later in life, nothing should keep students from developing and mastering essential survival skills. Minimal scholastic standards, therefore, ought to be rigidly enforced.

A third position might be to take a middle ground. That is, no rule should govern every case. One student might work harder in class if he knows that he can’t participate in sports or other activities without better grades. Another might respond differently by becoming so discouraged that he gives up or drops out—an unintended consequence brought on by a well-meant regulation that ignores the individual.

SELF-SCORING GUIDE

Using this guide, rate yourself in each of these six categories. Enter your scores in the spaces provided, and calculate the average of the six ratings to determine your final score.

On the SAT itself, two readers will score your essay on a scale of 6 (high) to 1 (low), or zero if you fail to write on the assigned topic. The score will be reported to you as the sum of the two ratings, from 12 to 0.

Remember that SAT essays are judged in relation to other essays written on the same topic. Therefore, this scoring guide may not yield a totally accurate prediction of the score you can expect on the exam. Because it is difficult to read your own essay with total objectivity, you might improve the validity of your score by getting a second opinion about your essay from an informed friend or a teacher.

Overall Impression

6  Consistently outstanding in clarity and competence; very insightful; clearly demonstrates a command of writing skills; few, if any, errors

5  Generally effective and reasonably consistent in clarity and competence; occasional errors or lapses in quality; contains some insight

4  Adequate competence; some lapses in quality; fairly clear and with evidence of insight

3  Generally inadequate but demonstrates potential competence; contains some confusing aspects

2  Seriously limited; significant weaknesses in quality; generally unclear or incoherent

1  Demonstrates fundamental incompetence; contains serious flaws; significantly undeveloped or confusing

Score images

Development of Point of View

6  Fully developed with clear, convincing, and appropriate supporting material; demonstrates high level of critical thinking

5  Generally well developed with relevant examples, reasons, and other evidence to support a main idea; demonstrates critical-thinking skills

4  Partly develops a main idea with relatively appropriate examples and reasons; shows some evidence of critical thinking

3  Weak development of main idea and little evidence of critical thinking; barely appropriate examples or other supporting material

2  Lacks a focus on a main idea; weak critical thinking; inappropriate or insufficient evidence

1  Fails to articulate a viable point of view; provides virtually no evidence of understanding the prompt

Score images

Organization of Ideas

6  Extremely well organized and focused on a main idea; supporting evidence presented in an effective, logical sequence

5  Generally well organized and reasonably focused on a main idea; mostly coherent and logical presentation of supporting material

4  Reasonably organized; shows some evidence of thoughtful sequence and progression of ideas

3  Limited organization and vague focus on main idea; contains some confusion in the sequence of ideas

2  Barely recognizable organization; little coherence; serious problems with sequence of ideas

1  No discernable organization; incoherent sequence of ideas

Score images

Language and Word Choice

6  Highly effective and skillful use of language; varied, appropriate, and accurate vocabulary

5  Demonstrates competence in use of language; appropriate and correct vocabulary

4  Adequate but inconsistent use of effective language; conventional but mostly correct use of vocabulary

3  Some minor errors in expression; generally weak or limited vocabulary; occasionally inappropriate word choice

2  Frequent errors in expression; very limited vocabulary; incorrect word choice interferes with meaning

1  Seriously deficient in use of language; meaning obscured by word choice

Score images

Sentence Structure

6  Varied and engaging sentence structure

5  Reasonably varied sentence structure

4  Some sentence variation

3  Little sentence variation; minor sentence errors

2  Frequent sentence errors

1  Severe sentence errors; meaning obscured

Score images

Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics

6  Virtually or entirely error-free

5  Relatively free of technical flaws

4  Some minor errors; one or two major errors

3  Accumulated minor and major errors

2  Contains frequent major errors that interfere with meaning

1  Contains severe errors that obscure meaning

Score images

images

ANSWERS TO MULTIPLE-CHOICE QUESTIONS

SECTION 2

1. A

13. B

25. D

2. B

14. C

26. B

3. A

15. B

27. C

4. D

16. E

28. C

5. E

17. B

29. C

6. C

18. C

30. A

7. B

19. A

31. E

8. E

20. D

32. A

9. B

21. D

33. C

10. E

22. B

34. D

11. A

23. B

35. C

12. C

24. D

 

SECTION 3

1. C

6. B

11. B

2. A

7. B

12. B

3. D

8. D

13. B

4. E

9. E

14. E

5. C

10. D

 

Performance Evaluation Chart

images

Conversion Table

This table will give you an approximation of what your score would be if this practice test had been an actual SAT Writing Test. The essay counts for roughly 30 percent of the final score; the multiple-choice questions, for roughly 70 percent.

For example, if your Multiple-Choice Raw Score was 35 and your Essay Subscore was 6, the table indicates that your final score on the test would be approximately halfway between 500 and 710, or 600.

images

Answer Explanations

Note: Although some choices contain multiple errors, only one or two major errors are explained for each incorrect choice.

TIP images

Key to Levels of Difficulty

 

Percentage of students

Rating

likely to answer correctly

EASY

>80%

MEDIUM

>65%

HARD

<65%

SECTION 2—IMPROVING SENTENCES

1.   A   B. Pronoun–antecedent agreement. Each is singular; their is plural.

C. Wordiness. The construction each of them have unique decorations and the phrase of their own are redundant.

D. Pronoun–antecedent agreement. Barns is plural; its is singular.

E. Comma splice. A comma may not be used to separate two independent clauses.

EASY

2.   B   A. Sentence fragment. The construction consists only of subordinate clauses and lacks a main verb.

C. Mixed construction. The phrase as a result is not grammatically related to the earlier part of the sentence D. Misplaced modifier. The phrase As a student at Tulane University modifies love instead of Julie.

E. Sentence fragment. The construction lacks a main verb.

MEDIUM

3.   A   B. Pronoun error. The pronoun in Betsy and I is an object of a preposition, and, therefore, should be me.

C. Pronoun error. The pronoun in Peter and me is in the nominative case and, therefore, should be I.

D. Pronoun error. He should be him. See B.

E. Pronoun error. In both instances, I should be me. See B.

EASY

4.   D   A. Subject–verb agreement. Funds is plural; is is singular.

B. Mixed construction. Choice B is not grammatically or logically related to the rest of the sentence.

C. Subject–verb agreement. Earning is singular; are is plural.

E. Idiom error. In standard English, the phrase is earned from tips.

EASY

5.   E   A. Faulty idiom. In this context, the phrase are as similar as is not standard English.

B. Sentence fragment. The construction lacks a main verb.

C. Sentence fragment. The construction lacks a main verb.

D. Subject–verb agreement. Characters is plural; is is singular.

MEDIUM

6.   C   A. Faulty comparison. Violence is compared to the 1950s and 1960s, an illogical comparison.

B. Faulty diction. In making comparisons, use than instead of then.

D. Faulty idiom. In this context, than around is not standard English.

E. Faulty comparison. Violence is compared to the 1950s and 1960s, an illogical comparison.

MEDIUM

7.   B   A. Wordiness. The use of both While and that was when creates a redundancy.

C. Mixed construction. The clause that starts with then is grammatically unrelated to the previous part of the sentence.

D. Dangling participle. The construction While walking down Market Street modifies guitar instead of Clarissa.

E. Passive construction. Using guitar instead of Clarissa as the grammatical subject leads to a passive, awkwardly worded construction.

HARD

8.   E   A. Wordiness. The two coordinate clauses of this compound sentence contain related ideas that could be more concisely expressed by replacing and she would meet with with by meeting.

B. Awkwardness. The phrase meeting … for discussing it is awkwardly expressed.

C. Faulty idiom. The construction to study the school’s schedule in holding discussions is not expressed in standard English.

D. Faulty idiom. The phrase discussing about it is not standard English.

MEDIUM

9.   B   A. Wordiness. Because and the reason why are redundant.

C. Subject–verb agreement. Dinosaurs is plural; is is singular.

D. Mixed construction. As a result of dinosaurs fails to relate grammatically to they are fascinating to us.

E. Comma splice. A comma may not be used to separate independent clauses.

MEDIUM

10.   E   A. Mixed construction. The construction that begins with it is grammatically unrelated to the previous part of the sentence.

B. Pronoun reference. The pronoun they fails to refer to a specific plural noun or other pronoun.

C. Sentence fragment. The construction lacks a main verb.

D. Faulty parallelism. The coordinate phrases in their complexity and growing more sophisticated are not in parallel form.

HARD

11.   A   B. Faulty idiom. The phrase mistaken with is not standard English.

C. Faulty coordination. The conjunction but fails to create a logical relationship between the two clauses in the sentence.

D. Misplaced modifier. Growing up in Asheville … modifies the contemporary Tom Wolfe instead of the earlier writer Thomas Wolfe.

E. Verb tense error. The use of while growing and was often confused creates a logical impossibility because Thomas Wolfe grew up long before Tom Wolfe made a name for himself.

HARD

SECTION 2—IDENTIFYING SENTENCE ERRORS

12.   C   Tense shift. Although the sentence is cast in the present tense (tells), it recalls past events. Use had to instead of is having to.

EASY

13.   B   Faulty comparison. For comparing two objects, use the comparative degree instead of the superlative. Use better instead of the best.

MEDIUM

14.   C   Tense shift. The sentence is cast in the present tense. Use phone instead of phoned.

EASY

15.   B   Pronoun choice. Use who instead of which when referring to people.

EASY

16.   E   No error.

EASY

17.   B   Subject–verb agreement. The subject work is singular; the verb require is plural. Use requires.

MEDIUM

18.   C   Pronoun–antecedent agreement. The antecedent reductions is plural; the pronoun this is singular.

MEDIUM

19.   A   Tense shift. Because this sentence calls for use of the past perfect tense, use had been instead of was.

HARD

20.   D   Faulty parallelism. Verbs in a series should be in parallel form. Use making instead of he made.

MEDIUM

21.   D   Subject–verb agreement. The subject neither is singular; the verb were is plural. Use was.

HARD

22.   B   Idiom error. The construction is not in standard English. Use regardless of.

HARD

23.   B   Shift in pronoun person. The antecedent freshman should be followed by a personal pronoun (he/she), not by the impersonal pronoun one.

MEDIUM

24.   D   Noun–verb agreement. The nouns diversity and uniqueness should have a plural verb. Use characterize instead of characterizes.

HARD

25.   D   Ambiguous pronoun reference. Pronouns should refer to specific nouns or other pronouns. Here, the pronoun they could refer to teachers or to children.

MEDIUM

26.   B   Diction error. An adjective may not be used where an adverb is needed. Use carefully.

HARD

27.   C   Pronoun case. The phrase parents and I is the object of the preposition to. Use the objective case pronoun me.

MEDIUM

28.   C   Idiom error. In standard English, the phrase is different from instead of different than.

HARD

29.   C   Faulty comparison. The word other must be included in a comparison of one thing with a group of which it is a member. Use any other musical film.

HARD

SECTION 2—IMPROVING PARAGRAPHS

30.   A   Only Choice A is concisely expressed in standard English. The language of the other choices is awkward or nonstandard.

MEDIUM

31.   E   Choice A contains a sentence fragment after the semicolon.

Choice B divides the main clause awkwardly.

Choice C is wordy and repetitious. It unnecessarily repeats the English Channel, the subject of sentence 7.

Choice D is an unclear, awkwardly constructed sentence.

HARD

32.   A   Choice B contains a faulty comparison. The Nile cannot be longer than itself.

Choice C is similar to B.

Choice D is accurate but also wordy and repetitious.

Choice E is awkwardly expressed.

HARD

33.   C   Although it is related to the topic of the paragraph, sentence 17 steers the discussion away from the paragraph’s main topic, Egypt’s dependence on the Nile. Therefore, choice C is the best answer.

MEDIUM

34.   D   Sentence 11 states a complex idea that needs further explanation. The other sentences are facts that stand on their own.

HARD

35.   C   Choice C does not describe the function of the last paragraph. The essay’s main idea is validated by the contents of the essay’s three main paragraphs, not by the final paragraph.

HARD

SECTION 3—IMPROVING SENTENCES

1.   C   A. Comma splice. A comma may not be used to separate two independent clauses.

B. Idiom error. The phrase having his growing up is not standard English.

D. Subordination error. The clause beginning with but fails to relate logically to the earlier part of the sentence.

E. Mismatched sentence parts. The construction beginning with he is not grammatically related to the earlier part of the sentence.

EASY

2.   A   B. Subject–verb agreement. Strength and appearance is plural; accounts is singular.

C. Pronoun reference. The pronoun their should refer to fabric, but because their is plural, it seems to refer to strength and appearance.

D. Subject–verb agreement. Strength and appearance is plural; explains is singular.

E. Pronoun reference. The pronoun their should refer to fabric, but because their is plural, it seems to refer to strength and appearance.

MEDIUM

3.   D   A. Idiom error. The construction made a comment of spending is not standard English.

B. Clumsy construction. Commenting on the spending of his is awkwardly expressed.

C. Diction. In context the verb gave is not standard English.

E. Wordiness. Made a comment and stating are redundant.

EASY

4.   E   A. Pronoun–antecedent agreement. The antecedent automakers is plural; the pronoun it is singular.

B. Sentence fragment. The construction lacks a main verb.

C. Faulty parallelism. Verbs in a series should be in parallel form. Will improve is not parallel to spending.

D. Subject–verb agreement. The subject automakers is plural; the verb asserts is singular.

MEDIUM

5.   C   A. Faulty parallelism. Items in a series should be in parallel form. Studying medicine is not parallel to music, English, and creative writing.

B. Faulty parallelism. Items in a series should be in parallel form. Working in the field of medicine is not parallel to music, English, and creative writing.

D. Faulty parallelism. Items in a series should be in parallel form. A profession in medicine is not parallel to music, English, and creative writing.

E. Mixed construction. The phrase that begins and to think is not grammatically related to the earlier portion of the sentence.

MEDIUM

6.   B   A. Faulty comparison. Hunting is compared to rifle, an illogical comparison.

C. Noun–verb agreement. Bows is plural; is is singular. Use are.

D. Comparative degree. Add –er to one-syllable adjectives to indicate a higher degree. Use safer.

E. Clumsy construction. In this context, the phrase in hunting is awkward.

EASY

7.   B   A. Tense shift. The sentence, cast in the past tense, shifts to the present.

C. Misplaced modifier. The phrase that starts with Convinced that modifies shock instead of Susan.

D. Tense shift. The sentence, cast in the past tense, shifts to the present.

E. Misplaced modifier. The phrase that starts with Convinced that modifies

last week’s F instead of Susan.

EASY

8.   D   A. Tense shift. The sentence, cast in the present tense, shifts to the future tense.

B. Pronoun reference. The pronoun it fails to refer to a specific noun or other pronoun.

C. Pronoun shift. The sentence begins with the impersonal pronoun someone

but improperly shifts to the second person pronoun you.

E. Idiom error. The construction is not in standard English.

EASY

9.   E   A. Dangling participle. The construction that begins Having ordered … should modify Howard instead of the fumes.

B. Dangling participle. The construction that begins Having ordered … should modify Howard instead of smell.

C. Dangling participle. The construction that begins Having ordered … should modify Howard instead of smells.

D. Diction error. In the context, pleasingly fails to convey the intended meaning because it is not a synonym for with pleasure.

MEDIUM

10.   D   A. Ambiguous pronoun reference. The second her may refer either to Charlotte or to Thalia.

B. Ambiguous pronoun reference. The second her may refer either to Charlotte or to Thalia.

C. Ambiguous pronoun reference. The pronoun her may refer either to Charlotte or to Thalia.

E. Sentence fragment. The construction lacks a main verb.

HARD

11.   B   A. Wordiness. The sentence contains unnecessary repetition.

C. Comma splice. A comma may not be used to separate two independent clauses.

D. Mixed construction. The construction that begins with then entitling you fails to relate grammatically with the previous part of the sentence.

E. Idiom error. The word then is misplaced. Put it after are.

MEDIUM

12.   B   A. Faulty idiom. The construction does not accurately convey the intended meaning. Instead of expressing the idea that better equipment has the effect of helping soldiers, it says that better equipment has been valuable in order to help soldiers.

C. Faulty idiom. The phrase even though conveys just the opposite of the intended meaning.

D. Pronoun reference. The pronoun they fails to refer to a specific noun or other pronoun.

E. Faulty idiom. The construction is not in standard English and fails to convey a logical meaning.

MEDIUM

13.   B   A. Faulty parallelism. Coordinate elements in a sentence must be in parallel form. To set a good example and as well as teaching are not in parallel form.

C. Faulty pronoun reference. The pronoun they fails to refer to any specific noun or other pronoun.

D. Redundancy. As well as and also are redundant.

E. Faulty parallelism. See A.

HARD

14.   E   A. Faulty parallelism. The verb shows lacks a grammatical parallel, namely a verb in the same form.

B. Clumsy construction. The construction help is all right to seek is awkward.

C. Faulty parallelism. The verb explaining is not parallel in form to shows.

D. Idiom error. Most parallel ideas introduced by not only must be completed with but also.

MEDIUM