SAT Writing Grammar Errors



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The problem with the SAT grammar section, for most students, is that many everyday ways of speaking are technically “Incorrect” in the view of the test-writers. Do you also overlook these common SAT Writing grammar errors?


1) Pronoun Mistakes on the SAT

Any time a pronoun is involved on the SAT Writing, students should triple-check it. All you have to do is match up the pronoun with the noun it is replacing and check for two things: Number, and case.

  • Triple-check your pronouns!
  • Number – Singular nouns get replaced with singular pronouns (like “it”). Plural nouns, with plural pronouns (like “they”)
  • Triple-check your pronouns!
  • Case – The noun and pronoun must match – they are either a subject doing something or an object having something done to them.
  • Triple-check your pronouns!


2) Illogical Comparison Errors

Only let the SAT compare two or more things if they are alike!

This is my favorite type of SAT grammar question, because it’s funny once you start to notice it. Consider this example:

  • “Pound for pound, the frog’s legs are more powerful than any other animal”

Makes perfect sense, right? Frogs are better at jumping than any other animal!

Well… not quite. This is actually comparing a frog’s legs to all other animals, and that’s not cool, man.

Don’t quite see it? Here’s what the SAT would call the “correct” version:

  • “Pound for pound, the frog’s legs are more powerful than any other animal’s legs.”

See what I mean? It’s a small difference, but it’s enough to make the original version completely incorrect on the SAT Writing multiple-choice.

See any of the following “comparison” words in a sentence? There’s a good chance the SAT will try to make an illogical comparison:

  • “More”
  • “Less”
  • “than”
  • “as (large/small/fast/whatever) as”
  • “like”


3) Second-guessing the “no-error” choice

The “No Error” choice really creeps students out. I know the feeling, and I used to suffer from this common condition myself (don’t worry, it’s not fatal to your SAT score). However, you’re going to have to get over it, because “No Error” is just as “normal” an answer choice as A,B,C, and D. If you’ve read the sentence and it sounds alright, and you’ve checked each underlined section and still don’t see an error, just go ahead and pick “No Error.”

There’s nothing special or unusual about picking “No Error!”


Study to avoid SAT grammar mistakes:

Almost every student studying for the SAT makes one or more of these mistakes until they become aware of them. Keep both eyes open!

Don’t forget to study the other important grammar rules that are tested on the SAT Writing section!


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