Question Explanations For

SAT Practice Test 2 (Writing and Language Test)

1.

The Correct Answer is (C) — The first paragraph talks about good reasons for praising talent, while the second paragraph brings up risks for taking such action. Look for words that signal that change in meaning. (B) and (D) signal a continuation in logic, so both are wrong. (A) is tempting because it uses “Nevertheless,” but the rest of the sentence supports the previous paragraph. (C) is correct because it signals a chance in meaning and introduces the next topic.

2.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Check for pronoun errors. The antecedent, “children,” is plural, so only (C) is correct. (A), (B), and (D) use singular pronouns, so they are wrong.

3.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Watch for redundancy. The segment should also match the syntax from the rest of the sentence. (B) eliminates repetition and matches the rest of the sentence’s syntax, so it is correct. (A) and (C) are wordy and repetitive. (D) does not match the last part of the sentence as well as (B).

4.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Remember rules for punctuation around independent/dependent clauses and coordinating conjunctions. (A) is wrong because a semicolon cannot be used between an independent and a dependent clause. (B) places a comma on the wrong side of the coordinating conjunction. (C) is correct. (D) creates a sentence fragment after the period.

5.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Watch for tense agreement. “Presented” is in the simple past tense, so all other verbs must agree if they happen in the same time frame. (D) is the only answer in the simple past, so it is correct.

6.

The Correct Answer is (A) — The “if ___ means ___, [then] ___ would mean ___” structure is a hint that both halves of the structure should match. “Solving puzzles” is a participial phrase, so the corresponding second half of the structure should also be a participial phrase. The sentence is correct as is, so (A) is the right answer.

7.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Both sentences talk about students’ avoiding risks. Pick the most effective option. (A) is wordy. “And also” is redundant, so (B) is incorrect. (C) is correct. (D) is grammatically correct, but the semicolon signals a reinterpretation or explanation of what preceded it, which is not provided by the second half of the sentence.

8.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Look for the most straightforward meaning. (A) means “to see,” which is overly simple for this situation. (B) means “to understand,” which doesn’t make sense in context. (C) doesn’t make sense in context. (D), roughly meaning “to run into” or “to come face to face with,” most accurately conveys facing a puzzle.

9.

The Correct Answer is (D) — This sentence describes an alternate situation. (A) is incorrect because it shows both situations as similar. (B) and (C) don’t make sense. (D) accurately conveys the different situation.

10.

The Correct Answer is (B) — As written, the sentence mistakenly uses “they’re” to mean its homonym “their.” (B) accurately corrects that error.

11.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Look for tone clues in the introduction and conclusion of the passage. (A) is too informal. (B) is correct, because it conveys how some levels of talent are an exception to the norm. (C) is extreme. (D) is tempting, but it is more of an opinion than an observation; since the passage describes scientific work, an observation is better.

12.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Since “you” is used as the main personal pronoun in the introductory clause, it can and should be reused. (C) correctly uses the same subject as the introductory clause.

13.

The Correct Answer is (A) — Check for verb forms and agreement. “See” agrees with “you,” and “are” agrees in number with “many people.” (B), (C), and (D) each are partially correct, but only (A) has both verbs agreeing properly with each other and the rest of the sentence.

14.

The Correct Answer is (A) — Watch for key words around the sentence. “Work” is used twice in the paragraph, and various lists describe specific tasks a visitor may not be aware of. (A) most closely relates to “work.” The tone is not negative, so (B) doesn’t make sense. (C) is extreme. (D) seems unrelated.

15.

The Correct Answer is (D) — The sentence is a run-on, so (A) is incorrect. (B) is a comma splice. Since the first half of the sentence doesn’t introduce any information, the colon in (C) is incorrect. The semicolon in (D) correctly splits the run-on sentence into two dependent clauses.

16.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is correct. (B), (C), and (D) create a sentence fragments after the comma.

17.

The Correct Answer is (A) — (A) is correct. (B) is unrelated. “Even though” in (C) doesn’t make sense. (D) creates a false cause-effect relationship.

18.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Look back to sentence 3, which talks about “many different kinds of objects.” (C) most effectively adds support for those various objects.

19.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The sentence talks about preservation. (A) doesn’t seem likely. The word that relates most closely to preservation is (B), meaning to come apart. While (C) is tempting, would mean to come apart drastically or irreparably, which is too specific. (D) means to go back on a promise, deal etc., which doesn’t make sense.

20.

The Correct Answer is (D) — The previous sentence seems to introduce more specific information provided in this sentence. “However” and “On the other hand” in (A) and (B) signal a change or contrast, so they are incorrect. (C) incorrectly signals a cause-effect relationship. (D) is correct, providing a clarifying example for the previous claim.

21.

The Correct Answer is (B) — The “yet” in the second sentence signals a change in meaning. (A) and (C) do not reflect this, so they are incorrect. (D) is tempting, but it reverses the meaning from the original version. (B) is correct.

22.

The Correct Answer is (D) — “The study of science” is redundant, and is not parallel with the other items in the list. (D) is simplest and fixes the parallelism issue.

23.

The Correct Answer is (D) — “Recent” and “now” are redundant, so (A) and (C) are wrong. (B) is too vague. (D) is correct.

24.

The Correct Answer is (B) — (A) doesn’t make sense. (B), meaning to change, is correct. (C) roughly means to change or vary in meaning or tone. (D) is tempting, but it means result (n.) or to bring about (v.).

25.

The Correct Answer is (A) — Check for verb agreement errors. The sentence is correct as is (A). (B) doesn’t agree with “structures” in number. (C) is incorrect because it doesn’t indicate that these are ongoing processes. (D) doesn’t make sense.

26.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) and (B) are redundant, while (D) eliminates “repeatedly” altogether, so they are incorrect. (C) is correct.

27.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Sentence 4 references changes in brain structure and introduces MRI. The best placement is (C) directly before sentence 3, which goes on to explain what MRI scans reveal. (B) is possible, but (C) keeps the sentences about MRI information closer together. (A) and (D) place the explanation too far from the other content about MRI.

28.

The Correct Answer is (C) — The final sentence of the previous paragraph presents a hypothesis. (A) is incorrect because findings aren’t yet mentioned. (B) is incorrect because results aren’t yet mentioned. (C) is correct. (D) might be true, but is not central to the hypothesis.

29.

The Correct Answer is (A) — A) is correct. (B) means involved in illegal activity. (C) and (D) are too specific.

30.

The Correct Answer is (C) — As is, the sentence is comparing a real brain and a scan of a brain, so (A) is incorrect. (B) refers to the scans, which is better, but not as clear as (C), which refers to the brains themselves. (D) also presents a faulty comparison.

31.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) and (B) mean the same thing, and both can’t be correct, so eliminate both. (C) matches the graph. (D) doesn’t make sense and doesn’t match the graph.

32.

The Correct Answer is (D) — (A), (B), and (C) are all sentence fragments without a main subject. (D) is correct.

33.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Usually, items in a simple list should be separated by commas. (D) is correct.

34.

The Correct Answer is (C) — (A) roughly means rejected. (B) is an intransitive verb, so it doesn’t make sense. (C) is correct. (D) means turned over.

35.

The Correct Answer is (D) — Watch for verb and subject agreement. (A) and (C) are incorrect because they are singular, while the (compound) subject is plural. “Their” doesn’t have a clear antecedent, so (B) is incorrect. (D) is correct.

36.

The Correct Answer is (B) — This is a challenging question. (A) is grammatically correct, but it says that Balanchine choreographed the ballet with Kirstein. All the other options say that Balanchine founded the company with Kirstein. The final paragraph of the passage explains that Balanchine choreographed the ballet, while Balanchine and Kirstein founded their company together. (B) is correct because it reflects this information accurately. (C) and (D) each create a run-on sentence.

37.

The Correct Answer is (C) — The correct answer combines both sentences without creating extra logic. (A) suggests that Kirstein wanted to bring ballet to America because he was American. This makes sense, but it is not explicitly stated in the passage, so (A) is incorrect. (B) uses the wrong pronoun (“which”) to refer to a person, when it only refers to things or animals. (C) is correct. (D) creates a sentence fragment without a subject.

38.

The Correct Answer is (A) — Check for pronoun-antecedent errors. “Its” correctly agrees with “Balanchine’s work,” so pick (A). (B) is tempting, but be careful; work is the subject of the sentence. (C) doesn’t agree with work, and (D) is unclear.

39.

The Correct Answer is (B) — Check for verb agreement. (A) does not match the tense of “invited.” (B) conveniently creates a parallel structure with “to move,” so it is correct. (C) creates an unintelligible sentence. (D) does not agree in tense or number with the rest of the sentence.

40.

The Correct Answer is (C) — As is, the pronoun “his” does not agree with the subject, “the dancers,” so (A) is wrong. (B) and (D) also create errors in pronoun agreement. (C) correctly make Balanchine the subject of the sentence.

41.

The Correct Answer is (D) — The passage generally praises Balanchine’s work, so (A), roughly meaning stuck in the past, is incorrect. (B) is extreme. (C) is too informal. (D), meaning new, is correct.

42.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Sentence two talks about a response, so it should go after some sort of question. Only sentence 3 involves a question (more specifically, an invitation), so (C) is correct.

43.

The Correct Answer is (C) — Watch for verb and pronoun agreement. “Their” does not agree with the subject, “attempts,” so (A) is incorrect. “Eventually” and “at last” are redundant, so (B) is incorrect. (C) is correct. “Eventual” and “finally” are redundant, so (D) is wrong.

44.

The Correct Answer is (D) — As is, the sentence has a change in meaning with only a comma splice in between the two statements, so (A) is wrong. (B) is grammatically correct, but does not accurately signal the contrast. “But rather” is clunky and redundant in signaling contrast, so (C) is wrong. (D) is correct.