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The SAT writing exam

SAT writing

Howdy, partner. We hear you're the fastest gun in the West. You stared down SAT Reading, and now you're back to take on that vile villain, SAT Writing.

OK, we exaggerate a bit. SAT Writing isn't so vile, and, if you keep a few things in mind, you'll surely have him whipped in no time. The first thing you need to know is that you'll be tested in two ways: with an essay and with multiple choice questions. The multiple choice sections of the test break down into three main problem types, one fewer than SAT Reading.
The three problem types are:

However, unlike SAT Reading, in which the four very distinct problem types bring four very distinct sets of rules, the SAT Writing section is pretty much all about grammar.

All. About. Grammar.

You may be asking yourself, "Self, how do I go about tackling my grammar fears and learning all the right rules and tricks for success?"

Our answer: Go play some old-school video games.

What, that wasn't what you were expecting?

We figured the icky grammar pill would go down a lot easier with a spoonful of retro gaming on the side. Were we right? We thought so. Games from back in the day, like Tetris and Minesweeper, are great analogies for the SAT Writing section, and not just because they remind you of your wasted youth. Adventure games like Sonic and Mario make a great metaphor for the SAT Reading Section, since they deal with long-term play, endurance, verbal weapons, and tough bosses. But the Writing Section is all about structure, patterns, and strategy, which is why games that test your ability to recognize patterns and logic are more like this section of the test.

Because the SAT Writing section will test you on a lot of grammar rules, including comma usage, subject-verb agreement, and tense, each section in our SAT Writing Guide will hit several of these commonly tested grammar rules. By the time you clear that last mine off the Minesweeper board, you'll have experience with all of them.

So dust off your parents' Atari, break out the old-school floppy disks, and prepare to show SAT Writing who's boss.


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