Attaining an impressive score in the Writing section isn’t a cakewalk and requires persistent efforts and dedication. The Writing section contains questions based on command of evidence, words in context, specific subject area analysis, expression of ideas and standard English conventions. Since the SAT exam has three compulsory sections namely Math, Reading and Writing, it’s necessary to score equally well in all the three sections. Students often find it challenging to score well in the Writing section as they have not been exposed to these kinds of questions in school tests.
However, following a few tips and tricks will help you obtain a good score in this section. The test is conducted in an MCQ format and each question has only one correct answer. There isn’t any need to write long answers to prove your writing skills here. If you dread the SAT Writing section and aren’t sure how to go about preparing for this section, you have come to the right place. This article will exclusively focus on tips to avoid common pitfalls and improve your Writing scores.
Best SAT Writing Tips for a Perfect Score
College admissions are all about drawing comparisons between numerous applicants and a perfect score would definitely work to your advantage and set you apart from the competition. If you are already struggling with the Writing section, a perfect score may seem like an impossible feat to attain. Here are a few handy tips to obtain a perfect score in SAT writing:
1. Be thorough with the grammar rules
SAT tests students’ knowledge of grammar fundamentals. There are several rules pertinent to usage of punctuation like commas, colons, semicolons in sentences and SAT requires students to apply these rules in the context of passage. Punctuation, subject/verb and pronoun agreement, idioms and homophone usage, parallel construction, comparison/description, precision, sentence fragments, pronoun, verb forms, modifiers among others are the key areas to be covered during SAT preparation. Students should memorize the rules, work on rectifying improper usage and mechanics and take practice tests consistently. Though you will find more questions on punctuation usage, you should master the less common rules too if you are aiming for a perfect score.
2. Master rhetoric questions
While the grammar section can be cracked by learning the rules, the rhetoric category of the Writing section requires students to have a good grasp over the writing strategies. The broad categories covered include sentence function, concision, tone, transition, logical sequence, precision and quantitative. Students will have to determine the tone and style of the piece of the text, assess the coherence of paragraphs, sentences and phrases, determine if a sentence fits well and examine evidence for inferences. You will also need to learn reading graphs and charts as some questions would require you to make sense of figures in the context of text. One of the simplest and most effective ways to master writing strategies is to read passages on a variety of topics daily. Instead of simply reading for pleasure, analyze the passages and identify the Writing strategies that come into play in these passages. Once you understand how the author employs different strategies, you will be able to master every single rhetorical skill.
3. Practice every question to perfection
There is no shortcut to success. It takes lots of practice before you can nail that perfect score. Students committed to achieving a perfect Writing score will need to dedicate at least 8 hours a week. Study time should be utilized in the best possible way without indulging in any distractions like cell phones, music or television. Devote one hour daily to practice the Writing section and you will see that scoring an 800 is not as difficult as you imagined it to be.
The choice of study materials also influences your scores. You need the right study materials and practice tests to make the most of your study time. Take practice tests that mirror the actual test to get acquainted with the test format. Make a note of questions that you are unable to answer and try to figure out if there is a specific pattern to your wrong answers. Pinpoint if it’s idioms, punctuations or rhetoric skills that need to be worked on and align your preparation accordingly. Even questions that you got correct by guesswork need to be reviewed again so you are 100% sure the next time you attempt an answer.