– [Voiceover] Hi. My name is Jen, and I help create the SAT. The new SAT is made up of two main sections: Math, and evidence based reading and writing. And the evidence based reading and writing section is made up of two tests. The Reading Test, and the Writing and Language Test. In this video, I'm going to tell you about the Writing and Language Test. I'll go over what this section tests, and how it's laid out. Then, I'll tell you about how the section is scored. First, let's go over what the section aims to assess. The SAT Writing and Language Test is designed to assess how well you can revise and edit texts, which we'll call passages, about a range of academic and career related topics. The questions associated with the passages will put you in the role of someone revising and editing the work of an unspecified writer. Questions will ask you to improve the development, organization, and use of language in the passages. And to make sure that the passages follow conventions of standard written English grammar, usage, and punctuation. The types of questions you'll be answering have been carefully designed to help you demonstrate the literacy skills that are keys to success in college and careers. Now let's go over what you can expect to see on the Writing and Language Test. You will see four passages with eleven questions associated with each passage. You will have 35 minutes to read the passages, and to complete the questions. There will be one passage each on a career related topic, history/social studies, humanities, and science. These for passages will vary in their text mode. At least one will be argumentative, at least one will be informative/explanatory, and one will be nonfiction narrative.
You should also expect to see a range of text complexity, from ninth grade on up to the first year in college, or post-secondary training. Some passages, and sometimes some questions, on the writing and language test, include one or more tables, graphs, or charts, that relate to the topic of the passage. For example, a graph may provide additional support for a point made in a passage. Questions may ask you to use information from the graphic to correct a factual error in the passage, or to replace the passage's vague description with a more precise one using specific numbers. You'll never have to make corrections to the graphic itself. All of this passage variety allows you the chance to show how you can apply your revising and editing skills across a wide range of topics and purposes. OK. Now let's talk about what the Writing and Language Test looks like, and how it works. When you open a test booklet, you will see the passages on the left, with the title in bold, and the questions on the right. The questions will appear next to the part of the passage to which they are anchored. Sometimes, a passage may extend to more than one page, so don't assume the passage is over until you see the bold title of a new passage. The boxed question numbers in the passage will also help you determine the place in the passage that the question is targeting.
Keep in mind that many of the questions rely on the context of the passage, so you may have to read more than the sentence that corresponds to the question, to choose the best answer. Sometimes, you will see the box number and nothing else in the sentence. In this case, the question will tell you what to do, such as: consider adding a sentence at that point. Other times, you will see underlined text after the box number. For these questions, you'll have to consider which of four answer options results in the most rhetorically effective expression in the context of the passage. Or, which of the four options results in an expression that is consistent with the conventions of standard written English sentence structure, usage, or punctuation. You may see other types of passage annotation as well. If the paragraphs of a passage, or the sentences in a paragraph are numbered, one or more questions will refer to those numbers. Those questions may ask you, for example, to consider where a particular sentence or paragraph should be placed. Now, let's talk a little more about how the questions look. Some questions that ask about an underlined portion of the passage, offer directions or ask an actual question, and other don't. When there are no additional directions or questions, assume that you have to choose the option that's most effective or correct. If a question includes a no change option, it will always be the first answer choice. Choose that one if you think the original version presented in the passage, is the best choice. Otherwise, pick one of the three alternatives offered in the question. All of the questions on the Writing and Language Test are multiple choice, and are based on the context of the passages. So you won't be tested on isolated skills, or asked to memorize specific grammar rules. The questions are designed to ask about the kinds of revisions and edits real writers make to a piece of writing. They're sorted into two main categories. Expression of ideas, and standard English conventions. Questions that fall into the expression of ideas category, focus on the rhetorical elements of the piece of writing. In other words, the questions ask you to improve the development of the topic, the organization of information and ideas, and the effectiveness of language use. Questions that fall into the standard English conventions category, focus on correcting grammar, usage, and mechanics problems in the passages. In other words, these questions may ask you to recognize and correct errors in sentence structure, such as run-ons, or rhetorically inappropriate fragments, usage, such as lack of subject-verb agreement, and punctuation, such as punctuating parenthetical element. If you want to know more about the Writing and Language Test questions, you'll be able to see videos here on Khan Academy, that go into depth on each question type. Finally, let's go over how this section of the SAT is scored. The Writing and Language Test is scored on a scale of 10 to 40. And that, along with your score on the reading test, will contribute to your evidence based reading and writing score, which is scored on a scale of 200 to 800. When you get your SAT scores, you'll also see some subscores. Two of these subscores are unique to the Writing and Language Test. They are: expression of ideas, and standard English conventions. You'll get a score of one to 15 in each of these subscore areas. Some questions of the Writing and Language Test will contribute to a words in context subscore, which, along with some questions from the reading test, will ask you to make decisions about word choice, based on the context of the passage in which the words appear. Other questions from the Writing and Language Test will contribute to command of evidence subscore, which, again, along with some questions from the reading test, will ask you to interpret, synthesize, and use evidence found in a wide range of sources, including graphics and a variety of texts. Both of these subscores will be on a scale of one to 15. You'll also see some cross-test scores. Those will be recorded on scale of 10 to 40, and will be based on selective questions in the Reading, Writing and Language, and Math Tests. They'll reflect the application of reading, writing, language and math skills in history and social studies contexts, and science contexts. Together, all of these scores help to build a better, more detailed picture of your college and career readiness. So, that was the introduction to the Writing and Language Test. Now, I hope you'll try working through a few passages and practice questions, to get familiar with the SAT.
The SAT Writing and Language Test: What to expect
The SAT Writing and Language Test: Overview
The SAT Writing and Language Test: Overview