So, you’re having some trouble with the SAT grammar section. This section can often feel easy at first, but the SAT grammar section has a lot of ways to trip you up and make you lose confidence. Here’s the best ways you can gain confidence on the SAT grammar section.
1. Read Often
The best way to improve your “feel” for grammar is to read grammatically correct things! Go pick up a book! This will also improve your SAT Reading section skills. If you struggle with your SAT Verbal score, you should pick up a book immediately.
2. Know the Grammar Rules
Now, I can’t teach a whole 90-minute grammar lesson in a blog post, but fortunately, LoveTheSAT has published a convenient textbook which breaks down the 17 grammar rules the SAT tests you on and includes over 320 practice questions.
At the very least, you should know:
- The parts of speech
- Singular/plural conjunctions of verbs
- The difference between adjectives and adverbs
- Verb tenses and forms
- Pronouns (and how they relate to their antecedents)
- Pronoun cases
- How to use punctuation marks, specifically: . , : ; ( ) –
- The difference between an independent clause and a dependent clause
3. Practice Recognizing the Rules
Now that you know the rules, it’s time to practice determining what rule a question is asking you about. As you go through your practice tests, try identifying which rule it’s asking you about before answering. If you’re working through a practice book, check that you also got the kind of problem right when you’re checking your answers. Was the question about the verb choice? Punctuation? Recognizing what’s gone wrong in a sentence is as valuable as knowing how to fix it. You can memorize every rule, but if you don’t know when to apply it, you’re right back where you started.
4. Know How The SAT Tries to Trick You
The Grammar SAT loves its tricks. One of it’s favorites is to distance important pieces of the sentence from each other. One way to combat this is eliminate unnecessary words and phrases from the sentence until you’re left with the bare essentials. For example, if you spot some unnecessary adjectives or parenthetical phrases in a long confusing sentence, you should cross them out to make the sentence more managable. Another way is to track down the pieces of the sentence you need (the pronoun and it’s antecedent, the verb and it’s subject, etc.) and check them against each other, ignoring the rest of the sentence.
5. Practice the SAT Grammar Test!
Now, you’ve laid all the groundwork to master the SAT Grammar section… now you just need to do some test runs! See what works for you and how these questions compare with what you expected. Practicing will help you find your strong and weak points. Getting familiar with the test will also increase your question-answering speed, accuracy, and confidence!
That’s all! Now go out and practice for the grammar SAT! I believe in you! If you want more SAT and ACT prep advice sure to join our mailing list for a free 27-item checklist and 30-day free SAT email course.