The SAT Writing section is one of the easiest sections to improve on in the new SAT! Because it tests your writing and grammatical skills with the same set of parameters, you can make great strides just by becoming an expert in a few small topics :) Let's get right to it!
Know Your Grammar Rules
The SAT focuses heavily on some very specific aspects of English grammar. For example, you have to be acutely aware of subject/verb agreement, misplaced modifiers, parallelism, and comma-splices. If any one of those is a mystery to you, then you have a great opportunity to pull in a few points that you might not get otherwise; these rules are pretty quick to learn, and once you know them they’re easy enough to apply.
Learning the grammar rules you’ll see tested in the three types of multiple choice writing questions is hugely helpful for your essay, too. Although grammar isn’t necessarily the most important part of getting a great essay score, it definitely helps.
So first things first, study those grammar rules.
Practice Makes Better
While you learn, it’s a good idea to dive right in to practice questions, too. The SAT writing section is not just a quiz of the rules; it’s a very specific kind of test with a very particular format. It helps immensely to learn that format and the best ways to navigate within it—how to approach each question type and how to pace yourself well.
But practicing isn’t just the application of what you’ve studied, either. It’s also an opportunity to learn new things. By sitting down with full-length tests and shorter, more focused practice sessions, you’re bound to make some mistakes. And that means you’re finding the gaps in your knowledge and skills. If you pay careful attention to the mistakes you make, you will learn. And the more training you do, the more often you’ll see the same topics repeated, and the more memorable those lessons learned will become.
So don’t just sit down with a book of grammar rules. Yes, that’s a great thing to do, but you need more than that. You need to try it for yourself.
Use Extra Resources
We've written a ton on how to conquer the new SAT! Check out some of the following posts, each of which has its own easy-to-follow and high-value advice and content: