Login

Practice with Improving Sentences for the SAT

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Practice with Identifying Sentence Errors for the SAT

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Improving Sentences:…
  • 1:04 An Easier Example
  • 2:50 A Tougher Example
  • 4:13 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

With the 2016 changes to the SAT comes a new way at looking at an old skill: improving sentences. See how you'll be asked to improve sentences on this new version of the most popular college admissions test.

Things to Remember with Improving Sentences

The new SAT, released in March 2016, brings with it plenty of changes. Most notably, there is a transition from stand-alone questions to passage-based questions on the Writing and Language Usage test. However, that does not mean that all of your hard-won skills at improving sentences will go to waste. Far from it. In fact, you'll now find that you have more context with which to improve the sentences in question. In this lesson, we're going to provide a couple of examples to see how to improve sentences on the SAT.

However, in case you're a little rusty, keep a few facts in mind. First of all, the SAT no longer penalizes guessing. In other words, don't leave an answer blank. Next, remember that the SAT favors the active voice. That means that the emphasis of a sentence should be a doer doing something, not someone having something done to them. Additionally, style is a big deal on the SAT. Try to match the style that the author has developed elsewhere in the passage. Finally, remember that the SAT prefers brevity to long-windedness.

An Easier Example

Since many of the new SAT passages come from works you've probably already read, we'll do the same here. For this section, let's take a look at part of the Declaration of Independence:

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

For our purposes, we'll say that the text 'He made Judges' is underlined, meaning that is the subject of our question. Here are your answer choices:

A. He made Judges

B. He has made Judges

C. The King then having required that judges

D. He has having required that judges

First things first, remember that A is always the same text as what is listed in the passage. In other words, if you think the sentence is perfect, then choose A. However, I would strongly recommend that you check it against the other choices.

Speaking of those choices, let's work our way through them. A is concise, but it breaks a stylistic characteristic of starting sentences with 'He has…'. In other words, it's out. B keeps to the style of the other two sentences and has no superfluous language, so it may be our choice. Still, let's be sure. C is long-winded, bad style, and has words that just sound clumsy. Get rid of it! Finally, D sounds awkward with that whole 'has having required' construction. In short, B is the right answer.

A Tougher Example

Okay, that was easy. Let's try one a bit harder. Again, from the Declaration of Independence, with an edit or two:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support