New SAT Writing and Language : New SAT Writing and Language

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for New SAT Writing and Language

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partition of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

How should the underlined section be changed?

Possible Answers:

ways to consider the so-called “dark ages.”

ways to consider the so-called Dark Ages.

ways to consider the so-called, “dark ages.”

ways to consider the so-called, “Dark Ages.”

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The expression “Dark Ages” is being used here as a standard expression for a given period of time. Therefore, it is best to keep the capitalization that is used in the passage as written; however, given that the author has referred to the period as the "so-called" period, it is best to keep the quotation marks. This indicates that it is an expression used in writing and speech by various standard authorities on the topic. Also, since this is not a direct quotation, you do not need a comma preceding the expression.

Example Question #1 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partition of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s culture.

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive forces during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

How should the underlined section be changed?

Possible Answers:

Although these were not the only positive forces during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving, and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance

Although these were not the only positive forces during these centuries, the monasteries will have played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance

Although these were not the only positive forces during these centuries, the monasteries will play an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance

Although these were not the only positive forces during these centuries, the monasteries would play an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

Although these were not the only positive forces during these centuries, the monasteries would play an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance

Explanation:

The problem with the sentence, as written, is its misuse of the past perfect form "had played." We use the past perfect when we refer to things that are further in the past than are other past-tense verbs in the sentence. For example, you could say, "After he had brushed his teeth, he went to bed." This indicates that the person first brushed his teeth then went to bed.  

For this sentence, you need to indicate that with the passage of years, the monasteries would play an important role. The future tense ("will play") is not completely appropriate, as we are not talking about the future relative to the rest of the narrative of the passage. Thus, it is a little clearer if we use the conditional "would." This expresses that, given the "condition" of years passing, the monasteries would play an important role in the preservation of culture.

Example Question #2 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partition of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

The writer is considering deleting the underlined sentence. Should he or she do so, and why or why not? 

Possible Answers:

No, this sentence provides necessary supporting evidence for the claims made in the first paragraph

Yes, this sentence is not sufficiently related to the content that comes after it, and it should be deleted.

Yes, this sentence is simply too wordy, and it should be deleted

No, this sentence introduces the topic of the second paragraph; it is relevant, effective, and necessary

Yes, this sentence is grammatically incorrect and not sufficiently relevant to the content; it should be deleted

Correct answer:

No, this sentence introduces the topic of the second paragraph; it is relevant, effective, and necessary

Explanation:

Firstly, we need to evaluate the underlined sentence grammatically, and determine if it is correctly written. We can see that the opening dependent clause is correctly punctuated, and there are no usage errors in the sentence. So, now we need to evaluate its exact contextual relevance, which in this case is to set up the claims of the second paragraph.

Example Question #3 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification to use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partition of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

How should the underlined section be corrected?

Possible Answers:

use the adjective, dark, to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

use the adjective "dark" to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

use the adjective, "dark" to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

NO CHANGE

use the adjective, "dark," to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

Correct answer:

use the adjective "dark" to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

Explanation:

Since the word "dark" is being referred to as an adjective, it is necessary to place quotation marks around it. This is the same as writing, "The word 'dark' has four letters," (or the previous sentence). When you do this, it is not necessary to add any commas or to alter the capitalization as you do in direct quotations; instead, you leave the word as is and merely "wrap" it in quotations marks.

Example Question #2 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partitions of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

Which of the following best describes the areas of Europe in the cultural milieu slowly changed?

Possible Answers:

portions

avowedly

NO CHANGE

particulars

peculiarities

Correct answer:

portions

Explanation:

The correct word here is "portions" which obviously describes parts, not the whole of, something. "Partitions" describes usually physical barriers between things or places, and has less contextual and logical relevance than the the "portions" in this instance. There "was a slow alteration of cultural milieu" in PARTS of Europe.

None of the other options make logical or grammatical sense.

Example Question #1 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partitions of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

To make this paragraph the most logical, the underlined sentence would best be placed ______________________.

Possible Answers:

At the end of the passage

At the end of the first paragraph

NO CHANGE

At the end of the second paragraph

After the sentence that follows it in the passage

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The underlined sentence is a perfectly appropriate introductory sentence. It sets out a clear topic, that is then discussed in the rest of the passage. Since this topic describes "two different ways" it contextualizes the use of "on the one hand" in the next sentence. This would clearly be a random and inappropriate concluding sentence, as it would not recap any of the content in enough detail so as to be useful.

Example Question #2 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partitions of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

How should the underlined section be changed?

Possible Answers:

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb; at one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

NO CHANGE

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb—at one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb; at one moment light, and then, at the next, dark.

It is not, as though, the civilization switched off like a lightbulb.  At one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

Correct answer:

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb—at one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

Explanation:

As written, the expression, "At one moment light and then, at the next, dark," is only a sentence fragment. Therefore, you need to integrate it into the first sentence in this selection in some way. Among the options provided, the only one that does this appropriately is the one that places a long dash after the first sentence. This makes the fragment into a kind of interrupting expression at the end of the main thought. A semicolon is not proper, for then you would need two fully formed sentences.

Example Question #841 : Improving Paragraphs

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partition of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

How should the underlined section be corrected?

Possible Answers:

It was a gross simplification too use the adjective

It is a gross simplification, too, use the adjective

NO CHANGE

It is a gross simplification to use the adjective

It was a gross simplification to use the adjective

Correct answer:

It is a gross simplification to use the adjective

Explanation:

As written, the selection misuses the word "too." This means also. What you need is the form "to" in order to complete the infinitive verb form "to use." Note, however, that you should not add "too" in addition to "to." There is no need for expressing "also" in the actual content expressed in this passage. This is the only direct statement made about the simplification in question. Hence, you do not need to say "also" or "too."

Example Question #2 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partition of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

The first sentence’s underlined claim performs which of the following functions? 

Possible Answers:

It sets a bold, aggressive tone

It sets a somber, reflective tone

It introduces the timeframe for the discussion to come

It sets a breezy, flippant tone

It sets an academic and even-handed tone for the rest of the passage

Correct answer:

It sets an academic and even-handed tone for the rest of the passage

Explanation:

The key clue to this question was "evenhanded," in the correct answer. The opening sentence merely notes that there are "two different ways to consider" the time period in question. The choice of relatively academic diction, like choosing "consider" to mean think about makes the "academic" tone the only applicable option provided.

Example Question #3 : New Sat Writing And Language

There once was a shepherd boy whom sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. He was hot and exhausted fanning himself, rapidly in a feeble attempt to cool himself down. On top of that, he had never been so bored before. To amuse himself, he decided to play a joke. He put his hands around his mouth and yelled in a loud voice, "Wolf! Wolf! A wolf is chasing the sheep!”

They came running. They asked the boy, “What’s going on? Did you yell ‘A wolf is chasing the sheep?’”

The boy laughed. “It was just a joke, everyone.”

The people fumed, but they all returned to their homes.

The next day, the boy bored again decided to amuse himself again. He bellowed, “Wolf! Wolf!” Again, the townspeople came running. Once they arrived and witnessed the laughing boy, they realized they’d been tricked a second time. Nonetheless, they returned home and irritated resolved to never fall for the trick again for third time.

The next day, the boy was watching his sheep. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a wolf appeared from behind the bushes. With its teeth bared, the boy cowered as the wolf approached the sheep. Terrified, he called, “Help! A wolf! A wolf is here!” The people ignored his cries. “That mischievous boy,” they all said to one another. “He must think he can fool us again.” But not one of them came running.

No one was there to witness as the wolf ate every last sheep on the hillside, as the boy helplessly cowered behind a bush. As the boy hid, he shook his head. “I shall never fib again,” he resolved to himself.

Which is the best alternative for the underlined word, "Nonetheless"?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

On the other hand

Likewise

Instead

Therefore

Correct answer:

Therefore

Explanation:

The sentence here is a cause-effect relationship. The townspeople left irritated because they realized that the boy had tricked them. "Nonetheless" and "on the other hand" show a contrast between ideas, which does not apply here. "Instead" shows one action replacing another, while "likewise" shows a similarity of ideas, both of which also don't apply here. "Therefore" is the best answer.

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