Question Explanations For

SAT Practice Test 1 (Writing and Language Test)

1.

The Correct Answer is (A) — Use the surrounding sentences for context. The following sentence mentions bees “matching movements.” (A) is the correct answer. (B), meaning to pretend to be someone, is wrong. (C), meaning to make fun of, is incorrect. (D) may be tempting, but it means to make an exact copy, which is incorrect, since it’s the steps that are being copied, not the bee itself.

2.

The Correct Answer is (C) — A) is incorrect because it is a run-on sentence with multiple subjects and verbs. (B) improperly uses a semi-colon to separate to independent clauses. (C) is correct, creating a second verb phrase modifying “Scientists” at the beginning of the sentence. In (D), it is unclear what “determining” modifies, so it is incorrect.

3.

The Correct Answer is (D) — The subject, “scout” is singular, so rule out (A) and (B). (C) improperly uses a semi-colon to set apart the introductory phrase; instead, a comma should be used, so (D) is correct.

4.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is correct. (B) creates a run-on sentence with multiple subjects and verbs. (C) is tempting, but the information before the colon does not introduce anything after, so (C) is incorrect. (D) creates a comma splice.

5.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The middle figure illustrates the “nectar source is in the opposite direction from the sun” example used in the sentence. In this figure, the waggle arrow points towards 180º. Thus, (B) is the correct answer.

6.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Sentence 6 begins with, “For instance,” suggesting that it provides an example for a previous statement. Since the sentence is about the direction of circuits, the best placement for Sentence 6 would be directly after Sentence 4, which introduces circuits. Therefore, (D), “before sentence 5,” is correct.

7.

The Correct Answer is (B) — “Both” indicates a compound subject that requires a plural verb. The singular “plays” makes (A) wrong. (B) is correct. The past tense in (C) is unnecessary. The singular “was” makes (A) wrong.

8.

The Correct Answer is (D) — (A) is clunky, since the subject doesn’t change from the first sentence to the next, and the first sentence is relatively short. (B) is a run-on sentence. “Both watch and imitate” and “and then” are redundant, so rule out (C). (D) is correct.

9.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Decide on the relationship between the introductory clause and the rest of the sentence. (A) is wrong because is suggests that smaller brain size is the reason for bees’ ability to convey complex information. (B) accurately suggests that bees have complex abilities despite their having smaller brains than humans have and is the correct answer. (C) means that bees can function without brains, which is clearly incorrect. In (D), “accordingly” refers to information that comes before it; however, brain size has nothing to do with returning to the hive with nectar.

10.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (A) is incorrect; “illicit” is a noun, meaning illegal. It is also a homonym for elicit, meaning evoke, which makes (B) correct. (C) meaning to shed light on, doesn’t make much sense. (D) means to charge a specific type of tax on citizens, which is clearly incorrect.

11.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) is incorrect, because an infinitive cannot be the object of a preposition (such as “for”). (B) creates a lack of parallelism between “to navigate” and “communication.” (C) accurately makes “navigation” and “communication” match in form, and both gerunds can act as objects of a preposition. “Tools to be used” is redundant, so (D) is incorrect.

12.

The Correct Answer is (D) — A) and (B) provide no subject for the sentence, making it a fragment, so rule them out. (C) is grammatically correct, but it doesn’t make sense. (D) is correct.

13.

The Correct Answer is (A) — A) is correct, since the statement indicates contrast between Angelou’s past and current states. (B), (C), and (D), are all incorrect, since they indicate connected ideas

14.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) is wrong, because the singular verb does not agree with the compound subject. Rule out (B) for the same reason. (C) is correct, establishing the first half of the “not only…but also” syntax in the sentence. (D) is incorrect, because it does not establish the first half of the “not only…but also” syntax in the sentence.

15.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) is grammatically correct, but it loses the location information for the second half of the combined sentence. (B) creates a comma splice. (C) is correct because it most effectively translates “it was here that” into the adverb “where,” maintaining the location information from the original version. In (D), it is unclear what “experiencing” modifies, so it is wrong.

16.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Look at the topic sentence for clues about the focus of the paragraph. (A) does not improve the focus, so it is wrong. (B) is correct because it maintains focus on Angelou’s difficult childhood. (C) and (D) are not correct because they do not maintain focus on Angelou’s difficult childhood.

17.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Look for an answer that reflects information already in the passage. (A) is incorrect, as the passage only briefly mentions film. (B) is incorrect, as the passage seems to be about much more than just Angelou’s accolades. (C) is too specific, as the passage also deals with her childhood and voice. (D) is correct, since the passage outlines Angelou’s journey to success.

18.

The Correct Answer is (A) — A) is correct. (B) is full of pronouns, but leaves the sentence without a clear antecedent or subject (Who found her voice?). (C) leaves the sentence without a clear antecedent or subject (Who found her voice?). (D) incorrectly uses a semi-colon to separate dependent and independent clauses.

19.

The Correct Answer is (C) — The only answer that accurately punctuates a list is (C).

20.

The Correct Answer is (B) — “Both…and also” is redundant, so (A) is wrong. (B) is correct, and it is the most straightforward. (C) exhibits errors in subject-verb agreement (“poetry” and “were” do not agree in number) and redundance (“and also”). “Both…but also” does not make sense, so (D) is incorrect.

21.

The Correct Answer is (D) — (A), meaning to bring about (especially something bad), is incorrect. People can be infuriated or agitated, but not emotions, so (B) and (C) are wrong. (D), meaning to call up, is correct.

22.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is correct. The reflexive in (B) doesn’t make sense, since Angelou is doing the calling. (C) is unnecessary when them can be used instead. (D) does not match the tense of the rest of the sentence.

23.

The Correct Answer is (C) — This is an error in parallelism. Only (C) correctly matches “studying” with the gerund forms of “preserving” and “protecting” from the first part of the sentence.

24.

The Correct Answer is (D) — “In order that they might” is clunky and redundant, so (A) and (B) are wrong. (C) mistakenly uses “affects” (verb) instead of the noun, meaning outcomes, “effects.” Therefore, (D) is correct.

25.

The Correct Answer is (D) — (A) leaves an unclear antecedent for “their” and “These” – does their refer to the scientists, the assistants, or to their projects? (B) removes the unclear “their,” but “These” maintains the same error. (C) makes it sound as if the projects are called wildlife technicians. (D) is correct.

26.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is correct. (B) creates a comma splice. “Through the use of” is clunky; better to use “by,” so (C) is wrong. (D) misconstrues the logic behind the data collection from tagging and observation; in addition, “other times” needs a comma before it or none around it at all.

27.

The Correct Answer is (B) — “His or her” is almost always wrong, so rule out (A) and (D). (B) is correct. (C) is a homonym for their, but does not indicate the possessive; instead, it is a contraction of they are.

28.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is correct as is. The statements on either side of the transition word don’t contrast, so rule out (B), (C), and (D).

29.

The Correct Answer is (C) — The following sentence is about the various places wildlife technicians work, so a sentence before it would reflect this, as well as the rest of the information in the passage. (A) is incorrect, because the passage talks about locations, education, and research, not just skills. (B) is too specific. (C) is correct. (D) may be true, but the passage talks about locations, education, and research, not just the ability to work with various species.

30.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Look for related clues in the sentence; such as harsh and isolated. (A) is tempting, since the passage talks about nature parks, but it is hard to describe an environment as reserved, meaning either reticent about revealing or showing emotion or booked (as in a dinner reservation). (B) seems unrelated. (C), meaning shy, also seems unrelated. (D), meaning far away, is correct.

31.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Since the rest of the sentence is in the present tense, rule out (A) and (D), which use different tenses from the rest of the sentence. (B) is correct. (C) creates a sentence fragment, since “choosing” is not a verb but a participle form.

32.

The Correct Answer is (D) — To improve cohesion, make sure the ideas flow smoothly from one to another. Sentence 4 talks about areas of study, while Sentence 5 talks about clubs and volunteer activities. (D) most smoothly introduces Sentence 5.

33.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) and (B) are wrong, because “feels” does not agree in number with the plural “technicians.” (C) is correct. “His or her” is clunky, so rule out (D).

34.

The Correct Answer is (D) — To maintain parallel syntax with the rest of the paragraph, which uses phrases like “you wake,” “you spend,” and “you receive,” pick (D).

35.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Decide if the two parts of the sentence contrast or go with each other. The only answer the correctly indicates the contrast between great gains and dark shadow is (B).

36.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The prior paragraph is about child labor before the Industrial Revolution, while the following is about child labor during the Industrial Revolution. Since this transition sentence comes at the end of the paragraph about labor before the Industrial Revolution, should reference that time frame; thus, (B) is the correct answer. (A) and (D) reference information that comes later, rather than providing a transition from previous information. (C) reiterates information from two sentences earlier.

37.

The Correct Answer is (D) — A) creates a faulty comparison between pay and adults. (B) uses the wrong adjective – less is used for general amounts, while fewer is used for specific numbers. (C) creates a faulty comparison between pay and adults, and it introduces a subject-verb agreement error. (D) is correct.

38.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) creates a comma splice. (B) creates a fragment after the semi-colon. (C) is correct. (D) incorrectly uses a semi-colon between an independent and a dependent clause.

39.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is correct. (B) is tempting, but placing “and being fatigued” between commas is confusing and unnecessary. (C) and (D) turn the introductory clause into a misplaced modifier, describing the machines rather than the children.

40.

The Correct Answer is (D) — (A) is clunky. (B) is even clunkier and lacks a clear subject for “being done.” (C) makes it unclear who is doing the children’s work. (D) is correct.

41.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) and (D) present an error in subject-verb agreement – “one” and “were” do not agree in number. “Being” is almost always wrong, so rule out (B). (C) is correct.

42.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (A) does not make sense; moreover, “age fourteen years old” is redundant. (B) is correct. (C) and (D) do not have a verb, so it creates a sentence fragment.

43.

The Correct Answer is (C) — All of the options work, but to best maintain the “were missing” syntax from earlier in the sentence, choose (C).

44.

The Correct Answer is (B) — A), meaning to support as true or to support one’s emotions, does not fit in this context. (B) is correct. (C) seems unrelated. (D), meaning to confirm a theory, doesn’t fit in this context.