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3.1: Introduction to the Writing Section

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

The SAT allots \begin{align*}60 \ minutes\end{align*}60 minutes in total for the writing section. The writing section of the SAT consists of an essay and three types of multiple-choice questions:

  1. The Essay
  2. Identifying the Error
  3. Improving Sentences
  4. Improving Paragraphs

You have \begin{align*}25 \ minutes\end{align*} for the essay, and two sections are split between \begin{align*}25\end{align*} (35 questions) and \begin{align*}10 \ minutes\end{align*} (14 questions).

In total, the writing section consists of \begin{align*}73\end{align*} raw marks that are used to determine your scaled score of \begin{align*}200-800\end{align*} points. The essay accounts for \begin{align*}24\end{align*} points (practically a third of your writing score), and the remaining \begin{align*}49\end{align*} points are decided by the three multiple choice sections. Here is the distribution of raw marks:

  1. The Essay (\begin{align*}24\end{align*} raw marks; two scorers provide a score between \begin{align*}1-6\end{align*} and this sum is doubled)
  2. Identifying the Error (\begin{align*}18\end{align*} raw marks)
  3. Improving Sentences (\begin{align*}25\end{align*} raw marks)
  4. Improving Paragraphs (\begin{align*}6\end{align*} raw marks)

You can see how important each type of writing question is; however, you want to earn the maximum points possible and not pick and choose your favorite problems!

[For the remaining lessons in SAT writing and hundreds of practice questions, please visit INeedAPencil.com. In the meantime, complete the following 10 questions to get a sense for your performance in this subject.]

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Date Created:

Feb 23, 2012

Last Modified:

Apr 29, 2014
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