SAT Section 5 Writing

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| By Ihatesats
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Ihatesats
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Quizzes Created: 4 | Total Attempts: 1,050
Questions: 28 | Attempts: 228

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SAT Writing Quizzes & Trivia

For identification of sentence errors, mark the bubble stating the error. The editing-in-context is a draft of an essay with multiple choice questions. Fill in the bubble with the best answer.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Illiteracy is an enormous problem. A it affects B millions of people worldwide, C and is an impediment to D social progress.  No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    A. A
    Explanation
    This is an example of a type of error known as comma splice. You cannot use a comma to link two complete sentences: use a semicolon.

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  • 2. 

    The company president has taken A steps to ensure that she B can handle the pressure and anxiety associated with C the job, including D joining a yoga class and enlisting the support of a network of friends. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    D. D
    Explanation
    Misplaced modifier. Including seems to refer to job when it should refer to steps.

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  • 3. 

    If you are sure tha A you are in the right, B you would not C mind an independent examination of D the case. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    C. C
    Explanation
    After a present tense in the if clause, we need a future tense in the main clause. Would should be changed to will.

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  • 4. 

    The union insisted A on an increase in their B members’ C starting pay, and threatened to call a strike if the company refused to D meet the demand. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    B. B
    Explanation
    Change their to its because the union is a singular noun.

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  • 5. 

    Television viewers claim that A the number of scenes depicting B alcohol consumption have C increased dramatically over D the last decade. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    C. C
    Explanation
    Change have to has because the number requires a singular verb.

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  • 6. 

    Employees with less A personal problems are B likely C to be more D productive. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    A. A
    Explanation
    Use fewer not less for countable items.

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  • 7. 

    The three richest men in America have A assets worth more than B the combined assets C of the sixty poorest countries of D the world. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    E. E
    Explanation
    No error.

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  • 8. 

    Shipwrecked A on a desert island, coconuts and other B fruits formed C the basis of the sailor’s D diet. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    A. A
    Explanation
    This is an example of a dangling modifier. It implies that coconuts were shipwrecked. To correct the sentence you could change Shipwrecked to “When he was shipwrecked”.

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  • 9. 

    Fifty percent of the people alive today have A never made a phone call, but B thirty percent still C have no electricity connections to their D homes. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    B. B
    Explanation
    But is inappropriate here; change to and.

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  • 10. 

    The rhododendron, which A ornaments so many B English gardens, is C not native to D Europe. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    E. E
    Explanation
    No error.

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  • 11. 

    The farmer should not have been A so careless as B to leave the door of the house unbolted when C he had gone D to bed. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    D. D
    Explanation
    No need for a past perfect tense here: use went.

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  • 12. 

    A census A of the island revealed B a population of only C 10,000 people D. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    D. D
    Explanation
    The word people is redundant.

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  • 13. 

    The engineer, who is renowned for his ingenuity A, has designed B a very unique C cooling system for our new plant in D Spain. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    C. C
    Explanation
    You cannot say very unique. (Just as you cannot say more superior.)

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  • 14. 

    Shoes of those A kind are B bad for the feet; C low heels are D better. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    A. A
    Explanation
    Kind is singular so we should use this or that, but not these or those.

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  • 15. 

    My father saw how much A Uncle Tom was enjoying B his early retirement, and C so he decided to do the same D. No error E.

    • A.

      A

    • B.

      B

    • C.

      C

    • D.

      D

    • E.

      E

    Correct Answer
    D. D
    Explanation
    The words “do the same” are ambiguous. Change to “take early retirement” or something similar.

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  • 16. 

    A conjunction is used to connect words and sentences together.

    • A.

      Words and sentences together.

    • B.

      Words or sentences together.

    • C.

      Words and sentences.

    • D.

      Words or sentences.

    • E.

      Words to sentences.

    Correct Answer
    D. Words or sentences.
    Explanation
    Together is redundant. The conjunction does not couple words TO sentences; it joins words, OR it joins sentences. Hence the meaning is clearest in D.

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  • 17. 

    Antony, coming alongside Cleopatra's ship, climbed aboard without seeing or being seen by her.

    • A.

      Climbed aboard without seeing or being seen by her.

    • B.

      Climbed aboard without seeing Cleopatra or being seen by her.

    • C.

      Climbs aboard without Cleopatra seeing him.

    • D.

      Boarded without being seen by her.

    • E.

      Boarded without seeing Cleopatra.

    Correct Answer
    B. Climbed aboard without seeing Cleopatra or being seen by her.
    Explanation
    The meaning has to be clear that he did not see her, nor did she see him.

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  • 18. 

    Bombast is when high sounding words for effect, not suitability, are used.

    • A.

      Is when high sounding words for effect, not suitability, are used.

    • B.

      Is the use of high-sounding words for effect rather than for suitability.

    • C.

      Is where high-sounding words are used for effect not suitability.

    • D.

      Is the using of high-sounding words for effect only.

    • E.

      Is when you use high-sounding words for effect rather than for suitability.

    Correct Answer
    B. Is the use of high-sounding words for effect rather than for suitability.
    Explanation
    The construction “Bombast is where/when” is incorrect. “Bombast is the using of” is also faulty.

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  • 19. 

    I would like to thank whoever it was that wrote that piece of music: it has given me so much pleasure.

    • A.

      I would like to thank whoever it was that wrote that piece of music:

    • B.

      I would like to thank whomever it was that has written that piece of music:

    • C.

      I would like to thank whomever it might be that wrote that piece of music:

    • D.

      Whoever it was that wrote that piece of music, I would like to thank because

    • E.

      I would like to thank whoever it was that wrote that piece of music,

    Correct Answer
    A. I would like to thank whoever it was that wrote that piece of music:
    Explanation
    No error.

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  • 20. 

    Your taking a loan to buy a car annoyed Father.

    • A.

      Your taking a loan to buy a car annoyed Father.

    • B.

      Your taking a loan to buy a car aggravated Father.

    • C.

      You taking a loan to buy a car irritated Father.

    • D.

      You taking a loan to buy a car annoyed Father.

    • E.

      Father was annoyed by you taking a loan to buy a car.

    Correct Answer
    A. Your taking a loan to buy a car annoyed Father.
    Explanation
    Do not use aggravated or irritated when you mean annoyed. Also we need a possessive form of a pronoun in front of a gerund, so you taking is wrong.

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  • 21. 

    In the initial stages of learning a new language we learn more through listening and attempting to copy speech patterns and not through reading grammar books.

    • A.

      And attempting to copy speech patterns and not through reading grammar books.

    • B.

      And attempting to copy speech patterns than through reading grammar books.

    • C.

      And attempts to copy speech patterns than through reading grammar books.

    • D.

      And attempts at copying speech patterns than through reading grammar books.

    • E.

      And attempts at copying speech patterns and not grammar books.

    Correct Answer
    B. And attempting to copy speech patterns than through reading grammar books.
    Explanation
    The word more requires a than. Attempting is correctly parallel to listening.

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  • 22. 

    Between you and I, I doubt that he will come.

    • A.

      And I, I doubt that he will come.

    • B.

      And I, I doubt that he would come.

    • C.

      And me, I doubt that he will come.

    • D.

      And me, I doubt that he would come.

    • E.

      And me, I doubt whether he will be coming.

    Correct Answer
    C. And me, I doubt that he will come.
    Explanation
    After the preposition between the pronouns should be in the object form and so we need me and not I. After doubt the simple future tense is correct.

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  • 23. 

    Work that is not finished is not work at all, it is merely a botch, a failure.

    • A.

      All, it is merely a botch, a failure.

    • B.

      All, it is a botch merely, and a failure.

    • C.

      All; it is merely a botch, a failure.

    • D.

      All; the work merely is a botch and a failure.

    • E.

      All; the work being merely a botch, a failure.

    Correct Answer
    C. All; it is merely a botch, a failure.
    Explanation
    A semicolon is need to link two sentences. Of the choices with the semicolon, C is short and clear (and correct), D has merely in the wrong place, and E does not have a complete sentence after the semicolon.

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  • 24. 

    Pollution and degradation of the environment is, according to the commission's report, a matter of universal concern.

    • A.

      Is, according to the commission's report, a matter of universal concern.

    • B.

      Is, according to the report by the commission, a matter of universal concern.

    • C.

      Is, according to the report of the commission, matters of universal concern.

    • D.

      Are, according to the commission's report, universally a matter of concern.

    • E.

      Are, according to the commission's report, a matter of universal concern.

    Correct Answer
    E. Are, according to the commission's report, a matter of universal concern.
    Explanation
    “Pollution AND degradation” form a compound subject which needs a plural verb: are is correct.

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  • 25. 

    Denim jeans were originally worn not so much as a fashion statement as for their being practical work clothes.

    • A.

      Denim jeans were originally worn not so much as a fashion statement as for their being practical work clothes.

    • B.

      Denim jeans were originally worn not so much as a fashion statement but for their being practical work clothes.

    • C.

      Denim jeans were originally worn not so much as a fashion statement but for being practical work clothes.

    • D.

      Denim jeans were originally worn not as a fashion statement as for them being practical work clothes.

    • E.

      Denim jeans were originally worn not as a fashion statement but as for them being practical work clothes.

    Correct Answer
    A. Denim jeans were originally worn not so much as a fashion statement as for their being practical work clothes.
    Explanation
    The construction 'not so much as... as' is correct.

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  • 26. 

    (1) Nowadays we tend to use the expression “plain vanilla” in a derogatory sense for something simple and unadorned. (2) But have you ever thought about the ways in which the vanilla bean has improved the taste of what we eat? (3) One of the most used, and presumably, most appreciated, flavors known to man, worldwide we use more than one thousand tons of vanilla beans every year, mainly to flavor ice cream, cakes and confectionery. (4) Since the 1930s chemical companies have also been making huge amounts of synthetic vanilla essence mainly from the byproducts of the paper pulp industry. (5) In fact, most of the “vanilla flavor” products on the supermarket shelves have never seen a vanilla pod. (6) However, good cooks keep real vanilla pods in their sugar to enhance the taste of their cakes and cookies and would not buy synthetic vanilla. (7) Natural vanilla is the product of a creeper that grows best in hot wet climates. (8) It requires hand pollinating and the growing, harvesting and curing need skill and are labor intensive. (9) With the advent of biotechnology it remains to be seen how long the traditional growing and production methods would survive. (10) But whatever the source, vanilla has become essential to the human palate. (11) Think about it: do you even know what “plain” ice cream would taste like without vanilla? Which version of the underlined part best corrects and improves sentence 3 (reproduced below)? One of the most used, and presumably, most appreciated, flavors known to man, worldwide we use more than one thousand tons of vanilla beans every year, mainly to flavor ice cream, cakes and confectionery.

    • A.

      Vanilla is certainly one of the most used, and presumably most appreciated, flavors known to man. Worldwide

    • B.

      Vanilla is certainly one of the most used, and presumably most appreciated, flavors known to man, worldwide

    • C.

      Vanilla is certainly one of the most used, and presumably most appreciated, flavors known to man worldwide:

    • D.

      One of the most used, and presumably most appreciated, flavors known to man worldwide, vanilla

    • E.

      Worldwide vanilla is certainly one of the most used, and presumably most appreciated, flavors known to man.

    Correct Answer
    A. Vanilla is certainly one of the most used, and presumably most appreciated, flavors known to man. Worldwide
    Explanation
    The original version has a dangling modifier, which needs to be corrected. “Worldwide” refers to the use of vanilla. Sentence A deals with both problems.

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  • 27. 

    1) Cicero said, “A room without a book is a body without a soul.” (2) Certainly when I enter someone's home for the first time, I am likely to gravitate to the bookshelf, in part to glean further insight into the personality of its owner. (3) But now that the family encyclopedia is likely to have been replaced by a CD-ROM it is possible that the book might be reduced to an item of decoration rather than information and entertainment. (4) In a sense, books have always been more than just repositories of information. (5) The look and feel of a book is as much a part of its appeal as its contents. (6) There is something immensely satisfying about opening a new book: the smell of the paper, the feel of the cover, the design on the dust jacket and the weight of the volume all contribute to the impression it makes. (7) The most aesthetically pleasing volumes, the leather bound volumes, and the volumes with beautiful bindings are actually often bought by interior decorators to add to the look of a study, office or of a living room. (8) Books have a symbolic power. We shudder when we hear of ‘book burning', associated down the ages with tyranny and oppression. (9) Books as cultural icons remind us of freedom of speech and enhanced opportunities, they remind us of the intellectual aspirations of the human race. (10) But in the future will the book still be read? (11) I believe it will. (12) More books are being written and published than ever before; the book has withstood the advent of the cinema, television, and personal computer and are likely to be there in centuries to come.Which version of sentence 8 would form the best transition between paragraphs two and three?

    • A.

      Besides their aesthetic appeal, books have symbolic power.

    • B.

      Books have also always had symbolic power.

    • C.

      Besides their use to decorators, books have a symbolic power.

    • D.

      Books have other functions besides decoration.

    • E.

      Other people have used books as symbols.

    Correct Answer
    A. Besides their aesthetic appeal, books have symbolic power.
    Explanation
    This sentence indicates the transition from writing about the aesthetic aspects of the book to its use as a symbol.

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  • 28. 

    (1) The study of ecology has taught us that diversity is important to stability in the natural world. (2) Modern agricultural practices and other human interventions in the environment reduces the number of interacting species making the ecosystem vulnerable and unstable. (3) Similarly, human society in its progress toward the clichéd “global village” is liable to make the world less stable not more stable. (4) We are eliminating languages, traditional diets, and eroding cultural practices at an alarming rate. (5) The whole world wants to speak the same language, eat the same food and wear the same clothes. (6) But will this homogeneity be good for the human species? (7) Biologists would tend to say no. (8) Certainly a world where we can all understand each other and share common interests is appealing on one level. (9) But how infinitely poorer we will all be if we travel 5000 miles from home only to find no new people, no new places, no new ways of living, just a copy of what you experience back home. One weakness of the writing style of this essay is ____________________.

    • A.

      Reliance on general statements

    • B.

      Incorrect paragraphing

    • C.

      Inappropriate vocabulary

    • D.

      Poor punctuation

    • E.

      Poor choice of verb tenses

    Correct Answer
    A. Reliance on general statements
    Explanation
    An essay without specific detail and supporting facts does not make its point effectively.

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Our quizzes are rigorously reviewed, monitored and continuously updated by our expert board to maintain accuracy, relevance, and timeliness.

  • Current Version
  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Jul 07, 2010
    Quiz Created by
    Ihatesats
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