SAT Verbal: Improving Paragraphs

Ignore the directions, just recognize and remember:

  1. Read passage quickly for main idea
  2. 6 Qs: Refer to parts of 1 passage
  3. Each sentence numbered
  4. Improve structure & word choice

Typical Question Types

  1. Best version of the underlined portion of a sentence
  2. Combining sentences
  3. Replacing words
  4. Major revision to the entire passage

Best Approaches

  1. Try all of the options before you decide on your answer. Sometimes more than one choice will work, but you must choose the best one.
  2. Make sure that your answer about a particular sentence or sentences makes sense in the context of the preceding and following sentences, and of the passage as a whole. Your choice affects the whole passage.
  3. Read more slowly than you usually do. This is to help you pay close attention. ONLY applies to QUESTIONED parts of passage.

Quick Tips

  • Context is always key, even when a question only asks about a specific sentence.
  • Make sure meaning doesn't change; use correct conjunctions to combine sentences when necessary (or, and, but, etc.)
  • Author's tone must stay consistent.
  • You can't replace words without knowing context! Read preceding & following sentences.
  • Conclusions should summarize entire passage, not just part.
  • Major Revision = most difficult Q type for Improving Paragraphs. Know author's Main Point & stick close to it.