SAT Writing Practice Problems: Grammar and Punctuation - dummies

SAT Writing Practice Problems: Grammar and Punctuation

By Ron Woldoff

As you’d expect, the SAT Writing and Language section contains several questions that test your knowledge of grammar or punctuation. For each of the following practice questions, you need to read a brief passage, and then decide whether an underlined word or phrase is correct.

Practice questions

Question 1 is based on the following information.

The following passage is an excerpt from 35 Seasons of U.S. Antarctic Meteorites (1976–2010): A Pictorial Guide to the Collection, edited by Kevin Righter, Catherine Corrigan, Timothy McCoy, and Ralph Harvey (Wiley-Blackwell).

In the audience sat William A. Cassidy, of the University of Pittsburgh. Bill Cassidy wrote later that, on hearing that report, a comic-strip light-bulb appeared in his mind with a message reading: “Meteorites are concentrated on the ice!” Cassidy expected the whole room to be excited, but looking around he found the audience looking as comatose and glassy-eyed (1) that audiences sometimes do. I was chairing the session that evening, but I was much too preoccupied with keeping the speakers more or less on schedule to be having any eureka experiences.

  1. Regarding the underlined word
    A. NO CHANGE
    B. as
    C. the way
    D. which

    Question 2 is based on the following information.
    The following passage is an excerpt from Sherlock Holmes For Dummies, by Steven Doyle and David A. Crowder (Wiley).

    The public was wildly enthusiastic about Sherlock Holmes, but one man didn’t share that feeling. Incredibly, it was Arthur Conan Doyle himself. He had greater ambitions in mind as a (2) writer but he believed he’d make his mark in literature by writing historical novels. Doyle began to see the detective as an impediment to his work instead of as a part of it.

  2. Regarding the underlined passage
    A. NO CHANGE
    B. writer;
    C. writer,
    D. writer and

Answers and explanations

  1. The correct answer is Choice (B).
    “Looking as comatose and glassy-eyed as audiences sometimes do” is correct.
  2. The correct answer is Choice (B).
    The semicolon correctly joins the two complete sentences.