Khan Academy Live: SAT Writing Class

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Khan Academy Live: SAT Writing Class

– Hello, everyone, and welcome to Khan Academy Live SAT Class I’m Erik, and I’m an SAT tutor and one of the SAT experts here at Khan Academy I’m super excited to join you today for our third and final class on SAT Writing We had an earlier class on SAT Math and one on SAT reading, and if you’ve missed those classes, don’t worry We have those in our YouTube channel You can check them out, but for today, the focus is all about SAT Writing, and there’s a lot to cover, so let’s take a look at the schedule for the day So for today, the first 25 minutes, I’m gonna spend on instruction and practice problems, and so I’ll give you an overview of the SAT Writing test so you know what to expect and share a few tips about how you can mark it up, so when you underlining, boxing, and so forth Then I’ll cover subject-verb agreement, and we’ll do some practice problems here, and then I’ll wrap up there with some sentence punctuation And so these are two important concepts that come up quite commonly on the SAT writing and language section And now after that, I’ll spend 10 minutes doing Q and A, and so I’ll answer your questions that you have, and then I’ll share the badge with you as well that you earned by completing the class Then at that point we have something a little bit different, and so you get to pick what you think will help you most, and so the first option you’ll have at that point to wrap up the class is to head over to Khan Academy to practice what you’ve learned, and at the same time you’ll have access to one on one chat support from our wonderful Khan Academy and College Board staff Or the other thing you can do is stay on YouTube and watch me work through a writing passage from start to finish And so again, for the last 25 minutes, you can practice what you learned yourself on Khan Academy, or watch me work through a writing passage So that’s the schedule for today There’s a lot to cover, as you can see, and I’m excited to get started So let’s jump in So what can you expect on the writing and language test? Well, it’s a 35 minute section with four passages with 11 questions each, and so you’ve got 44 questions to deal with, and the passages will have a few topics, so you can have any of these topics you see here, history, humanities, science, or career-focused ones, and then you have a few passage types as well And so argument questions will try and, you know, argue a point with evidence Narrative passages will tell you a story, whereas informative and explanatory, as it sounds like, will just try to educate you about a topic that you might not have known about before Then I wanna finally cover question types, which are very important, and so there are two question types on SAT Writing, and the first is the expression of ideas And so these ask you to improve the effectiveness of communication in the passage And so this will ask you to improve things like the flow, the order, the logic, the clarity, things like that, and the second type of question focuses on standard English conventions And so they’ll ask you to make sentences in the passage consistent with grammar usage, punctuation, and other rules And so I really wanna, before I wrap this one up, emphasize that the SAT Writing and Language test is not just about grammar That is a part of it, but expression of ideas, clarity of communication, is also really highlighted So let’s keep going then, and now I’ll cover how to mark up the test now that you know what to expect in passages and in the different question types How can you interact with the test? Let’s take a look So how you can mark up the test There are broadly four tips that I would share with you So the first is to annotate the passage as you go, and so this involves circling, underlining, boxing things like transition words or topic sentences, so transitions, or topic sentences are important as well The second tip I have is to underline the question and the answer choices So underlining the question will help you understand obviously the question, but then underlining the answer choices will also help you break things up, and if you can’t read this, if it’s fuzzy on your screen, don’t worry We’ll get a chance to practice this in real life in just a bit, and then the third tip I have is to cross out words to simplify long sentences So often you have things like prepositional phrases, prepositional phrases, that are part of sentences, but they really don’t affect the meaning or the grammatical correctness, and in fact can make it harder to understand the sentence And so we’ll walk through an example of what it looks like to spot prepositional phrases and cross them out to simplify, and then the final tip I would have is just to use process of elimination So the moment you decide that an answer,

answer choice A is out, cross it out, or B, C, so that really saves you a lot of brain power and processing time so you’re not going back and thinking, “Wait, did I already look “at this answer choice or not?” And so once you’ve eliminated something, go ahead and cross it off the list So those are just a few tips for how you can mark up the test, and we’ll get a chance to apply marking up and annotating and process of elimination later today, but for now, I wanna walk through subject-verb agreement, which is a very common concept that’s tested And I’m sure you’ve heard a bit about it in your reading class, but I’ll give you a refresher, and then we’ll do some practice problems So subject-verb agreement, so to start as a background, you wanna remember that complete sentences must have a subject and verb that agree Now before I go any further, a quick reminder, a subject is the person, place, or thing that is doing or being something, so you know, that is doing or being the action, and then the verb is the part of the sentence that expresses the action So those are every complete sentence has to have both of those parts If it doesn’t have one of those parts, it is an incomplete sentence Now, when I say agreement, what do I mean? Well, I mean that singular subjects have to go with singular verbs and plural subjects with plural verbs, and we’ll get to do some practice on this in just minute, but for now, there are two quick tips I wanna share with you So when I approach subject-verb agreement questions, I find it really helpful to find the subject of the sentence first, then check for agreement And so this one is very straightforward, right, more straightforward, what is the subject here? We have the dog, right, so that’s the subject, and then what is the action? Barks, so that is the verb there This is will obviously get more complicated, so stay tuned The next tip I’d share is to cross out unnecessary words to simplify sentences So this one’s a bit longer, but it reads the dog along with the cat was convinced that it was nap time So now for those at home, what is the subject here? Is it just the dog? Is it the dog along with the cat? So answer is that it is just the dog, so, along with the cat, is a prepositional phrase that does not create a compound subject And so it’s just the dog that’s doing the action, and then the verb is, was, so if you cross out the prepositional phrase, the sentence is a bit simpler and just reads the dog was convinced that it was nap time, and then you can tell that the agreement is fine and eliminating the prepositional phrase really helps So that’s a quick overview of subject-verb agreement Like I said, you probably heard this in your reading or English classes in school, but this is a quick refresher, and now we’re gonna do a little back and forth quiz to see what you remember and show you some examples So subject-verb agreement, the game we’re gonna play today is is this singular or is this plural? And so I’m gonna go through these one by one and give you a chance to reply, and then I’ll reveal the answer So he or she? So that one is singular, and that one’s more straightforward We’re just referring to one person there What about anyone or each one? So that one is also singular, and the way I remember it is I see this one I see the one It makes it a little easier to remember Okay, now what about we? We is plural, so you know, multiple people You’ve got a few stick figures here like that Now what about everyone and everybody? Singular or plural? So this one is actually singular, and I wanted to include this one because it can seem like it’s plural because you’re referring to, oh, it seems like I’ve got a lot of people in everyone and everybody, but this is what’s called an indefinite pronoun And you don’t need to necessarily remember that term, but you do need to remember that everyone and everybody is singular Now moving on, what about somebody? Somebody is again singular, and so it’s the same situation as above, and it’s also an indefinite pronoun, and so that is, you’ll remember that when you’re on the SAT Now what about, the turkey as well as the chicken? Is that singular or plural? So this one is also singular Now why is that? Well, the subject of this phrase is actually just turkey, and, as well as the chicken, is one of those prepositional phrases again

that do not create a compound subject And so if you just have one turkey there, the turkey’s by himself It’s a singular subject Now last example here, James and I, is it singular or plural? This one is plural So the important word here is, and, so, and, is a conjunction, and that conjunction creates a compound subject, creates a compound subject Oh, excuse the handwriting Subject and compound subjects like he and I, she and I, are all plural since you’re referring to multiple people, but a conjunction is different from a prepositional phrase And so these are just a few examples that you wanna make sure you understand, so there are some easier ones like he or she, but you wanna make sure you understand someone, everyone, each one, all of those different cases, and that will make sure you cover your bases for the SAT So we’ve done some back and forth now, but we haven’t yet seen an SAT question So let’s do some practice problems So let’s take a look at this I’ll zoom in a little bit to make it easier to see, and so what I wanna do here is read the sentence and underline it before I go any further So, Billy, although he had a great sense of timing for stand up comedy, were handicapped by his poor memory So again, what I wanna do here is find the subject Subject, where is the subject? Well, so what or who is doing the action in this case? Well, it’s gonna be Billy over here, so that’s the subject, and then I wanna look at the verb here, so that’s, were And so then the other thing I can do here to simplify is cross this whole part out, and so I know what the subject is I know what the verb is, and so then I have, Billy were handicapped by his poor memory, and then that, you can tell, were, does not agree ’cause that’s plural, and you want it to be singular, and so this should be, was Billy was handicapped, and so then you can do that, and what you saw me do there was figure out what the sentence meant, what the different parts are And then by honing in on the error and fixing it, it allowed me to go straight to the answer choice and pinpoint the right one here rather than going through each one, and so that’s one way you can save time, and it’s one way you can speed things up as you’re on the SAT Writing test Now that was a good warmup question Let’s try one a little bit more challenging and see what that’s like So let’s take a look at this With the help of the Mat Su Regional Medical Center, middle school students in Gateway, Alaska observe intubation and sets bones So again, what is my subject? So who or what or what thing is doing the action? So with the help of Mat Su Regional Center, middle school students, okay, so middle school students here is my subject And what are they doing? They are observing intubation and setting bones So those are my verbs, and this is the one that’s underlined so I wanna pay extra attention here And just to simplify, I’ve got another one of those prepositional phrases here So in Gateway, Alaska, I don’t need to worry about that since it doesn’t change the grammatical structure of the sentence, and then even if I take this a step further With the help, all of that is another prepositional phrase So prepositional phrase, prepositional phrase, and the way I know it’s a prepositional phrase, by the way, is that I’ve got this, in, here, I’ve got, with, and so these phrases that start with prepositions are prepositional phrases So now, I’m left with, middle school students observe intubation and sets bones, and since observed isn’t underlined, I can even, you know, stop worrying about that and just say, middle school students sets bones So that looks like there’s an error there because sets does not agree, is singular, but I want it to be plural, and so this should be set here And so I’m left with, middle school students observe intubation and set bones And so that was a little bit of a longer sentence, but if you’re organized and go through the sentence and cross out prepositional phrases that you don’t need, it can help you identify where the subject is, what the verb is, and once you’re left with just the subject and the verb, it becomes easier to read the sentence and determine if the subject and verb agree or not We’ll do one more example, and then we’ll move on Let’s take a look Adventure climbers like Alex Honnold specializes

in free solo ascents without ropes up sheer cliff faces, such as El Capitan in Yosemite National Park So we’ve got, adventure climbers, so again, I wanna learn about the subject here, and we’ve got what is the subject? Is it climbers? Is it Alex Honnold? The subject is, climbers, so that’s the subject Now, like Alex Honnold, like, is another one of those prepositions, so that’s a prepositional phrase, so, like Alex Honnold, is not the subject, and then we have this verb here of specializes So adventure climbers specializes in free solo ascents without ropes Well, specializes is singular, but I want it to be plural, should be plural, be plural, and the plural verb for specializes is specialize, and so here we are Is specializing, is out and, has specialized, is also out, and so again, this is another example where dissecting the sentence that you have will really help you simplify and go through and find the right answer Now one thing I forgot to mention earlier before these practice problems is that on the real SAT Writing and Language test, the context that you see in the passage is very, very important, and so with these practice questions, they just focus on the grammar concept, and there’s no passage But on the real thing, the context is very important, and so we’ll get a chance to do that later, but just wanna emphasize that in the real thing, make sure you look at what the passage says since that’s really important for helping you figure out what the right answer is So for now, we’re gonna move on to sentence punctuation and shift gears a little bit So sentence punctuation, this is another one of those things that you’ve probably heard about in English class, but maybe you forgot a few parts of it, and so I’m gonna give you a quick overview before we do some practice problems So to start, we’re gonna start with a semicolon and the period Now these two are used to separate two independent clauses, and what are independent clauses? Well, they need to have a subject and a verb If they don’t have a subject and a verb, they are not an independent clause So an example of this is if you just ignore the second part of the sentence, Yoda can read minds, semicolon, I hate playing card games against him So Yoda can read minds, is an independent clause We’ve got, Yoda can read minds Oh, what happened there? I lost my ability to write Oh, I’m back, okay, and then the second part of the sentence is also an independent clause So that’s how you know that the semicolon has been used correctly Now a comma and a conjunction is the next thing, so these are used to join clauses by converting one clause into a dependent clause, and so an example sentence would be, George Lucas is a creative genius, but, comma, but Episode Three was not his best work And so this then is now a dependent clause, whereas, George Lucas is a creative genius, is an independent clause Okay, and the last thing I’ll cover are the dash and the colon Now these two are used to introduce a list, a quote, or an explanation, and the part of the sentence that you wanna remember is that the part of the sentence before the dash or the colon must be an independent clause, and so that’s the part that a lot of students will forget But an example would be, Star Wars movies always start with the same phrase, and so that’s an independent clause A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, dot, dot, dot, and so this was a quote example obviously, and as you can tell, I’m a Star Wars fan, and so figured I’d write whatever sentences made sense to me And so this is one thing you can also do, whatever sentences you wanna make up to reinforce grammatical concepts Make it easier on yourself Make it interesting for yourself, right? So now let’s look at some practice problems that will allow you to test this concept So President Thomas Jefferson had one slightly unusual dream, comma, and just to make this clear, I’ll just emphasize the punctuation Comma, he hoped to find a living woolly mammoth in the western United States Think they were all gone by then, so he was out of luck But President Thomas Jefferson had one slightly unusual dream, comma, he hoped to find a living woolly mammoth And so I wanna look at this comma and see if there is something to fix, and if so, how would I fix it? Well, a comma, let’s see Well, let’s take a look at the first part of this sentence first So President Thomas Jefferson

had one slightly unusual dream, so that one’s an independent clause That seems right Comma, he hoped to find a living woolly mammoth in the western United States, so that one’s another independent clause, but I’ve only got a comma here to separate it, and so there is an error, and it’s called the comma splice error And so you’re using a comma to separate two independent clauses, and that is not okay So to join two independent clauses like we said, we need to use this, a semicolon, or a period, and so let’s take a look at the answer choices We know there’s an error, so colon, no, that does not separate two independent clauses Dream, hoping to find, nope (murmuring) Nope, hoping to find, had one slightly unusual dream He hoped to find, so then that one is out, and let me see here Had one slightly unusual dream, this should be a semicolon (murmuring) Actually, this one looks like it is our winner here Oh, I’ve lost the pen again, so let me go through that And so what was his dream? Well, he hoped to find a living woolly mammoth, and so this is the explanation for the first part of the sentence there And so my mistake here, and so as you can see, anyone can make a mistake, and that’s okay, but in this sentence, we have an independent clause, and then instead of this comma, we can use this colon to separate this next clause, which is an explanation for the first one And so in that case, the answer is B So we had that one example Now let’s take the look at another one and get some more practice So, this year’s Shark Week on Discovery Channel features the rarely seen sharks of the Cuban coral reefs, and this is a semicolon for those who can’t see it Footage includes in water and on water activities with sharks So again, here I wanna understand, is there an error? So is there something to fix? And if so, how would I do it? So we have, this year’s Shark Week, and this first clause is an independent clause, and then footage includes in water and on water activities with sharks And so that one is another independent clause, and we have this semicolon there, and so I think that actually works quite well And so I have a semicolon to separate two independent clauses, independent clause and independent clause, and so then I think this case, the answer is gonna be A Now just to go through this, reefs, a semicolon, or reefs, colon, for in answer choice B, is not correct, and it is tempting though because it looks like the second part here is related to the first clause But reefs, colon, would be more appropriate if the second clause were an example of some of these rarely seen sharks So because the first clause talks about releasing sharks, and then the second clause talks about footage of the water activities, they’re not tied as closely And so that one, while tempting, is not quite there, and then this is a semicolon and, and, and so you don’t need that ’cause a semicolon is enough by itself And then reefs with a comma, this is that comma splice error again Okay, so we’ve got one final example now before we wrap up sentence punctuation, and then we’ll do some questions, but let’s take a look at one more sentence It’s a little bit longer, but I think you’re up for it So contrary to the popular perception that DNA was Watson and Crick’s discovery, so this is, just to emphasize, is a colon Its helical structure and phosphate backbone were first recognized by a woman, and that one is a semicolon, the English chemist Rosalind Franklin Okay, so this is a longer sentence, and so I wanna break this down and really focus in on these two parts of the question So let’s take a look just at the colon first, so contrary to the popular perception that DNA was Watson and Crick’s discovery, colon, its helical structure and phosphate backbone were first recognized by a woman So is that a correct use of a colon? Is that right or wrong? Check or X? Well, so if you recall, the part that precedes a colon must be an independent clause, and so let’s test that, independent clause Contrary to the popular perception that DNA was Watson and Crick’s discovery, that is not an independent clause, and it’s namely because of this, contrary,

that we have here And so this is a dependent clause, dependent clause, so this one I could actually fix with just a comma, and so I could do that So the colon is not right, and then let’s move on to the next part So its helical structure and phosphate backbone were first recognized by a woman And then we’ve got the semicolon, the English chemist Rosalind Franklin So a semicolon should separate two independent clauses, and so while this whole thing is an independent clause, the English chemist Rosalind Franklin only has a subject So no verb, so that means that’s a dependent clause, and so this semicolon is incorrect, and so but in this case, we could use a colon And so let’s take a look We want a comma and a colon instead, so comma and a colon, and there we go We have that here We have this discovery Its helical structure and phosphate backbone were first recognized by a woman, colon, the English chemist Rosalind Franklin And so this takes a little bit of a process, but if you break down some of the punctuation that separates each of the clauses, it can really help simplify and help you make sense of the question that you’re being asked So we’ve done some practice questions now We started with some that were a little simpler, but then started to get more complex as you go, and as you saw, I got sidetracked a little bit there before coming back on track And so this is a topic where the more you practice, the better you’ll get, and so don’t be afraid to make mistakes or miss a question here or there as you’re practicing So now, I’m gonna pause and take a minute to answer questions So if you have a question about anything I’ve talked about, go ahead and add it in the YouTube comments there, and in the meantime, I’ll start answering the questions that have already come in, okay? So let’s see We have a question Is the SAT Writing mandatory? So yes, it is, so it’s one of the three main sections on the test that you’ll have to take, and it is that, you know, 35 minute section The only part that you might be getting confused about is the essay So the essay is optional, but the SAT Writing questions and section are required for everyone to take Let’s see, what is a good way to complete the test on time while still answering correctly? So this one, I wish there were a silver bullet answer here, but it really just comes down to practice, and so the more you practice, the more familiar you’ll get with the format and structure of the test, the quicker you’ll get at recognizing, oh, this is the error here, or this is how I can improve this passage And if while you practice, if you time yourself, that will really help reinforce your internal clock of, okay, I’ve got 35 minutes total I need to go at about this pace, and so once you internalize and practice more and more, it’ll really help with that We also have a number of articles in our tips and strategies section on Khan Academy where we go through time management tips for math, reading, and writing And so take a look there, and we’ll also try and share those out as well Let’s see, so many grammar questions include logic questions such as whether one should insert a sentence or not Can you go over how to reason those questions over? So yeah, great question, so you’re talking about writing questions that ask you should the author insert this sentence into the passage, or should the author delete this, or what is an example that will bolster the author’s point? And there in those questions, the context of the passage matters, and so what I like to do is read around that part of the passage that is relevant So say it’s sentence number seven Then I’ll go back to the passage, look through and read a little bit around it, and try to understand what is the author’s goal in that paragraph or in those paragraphs, and one way you can do that to find that out is to read the topic sentence, which is the first sentence in the paragraph Once you read the topic sentence, you can get an understanding of, okay, the author wants to talk about amphibians and how they’ve spread across North America Then that gives you the background and context you need to evaluate the answer choices or the question of should you add it, should you add a sentence, delete it, so forth And you almost wanna put yourself in the writer’s shoes to say, “If I were making this argument “or informing my peers about frogs “and their spread through North America, “would I want to have this sentence where it is?

“Would I delete it? “Does it help the case that I’m trying to make or not?” And so to boil that down, it’s reread the parts of the passage to understand the author’s point and the context, and then put yourself in the author’s shoes and consider does keeping or adding or deleting the sentence most bolster your point? So that’s how I’d approach that We also have an article in tips and strategies that you can check out specifically about how to approach inserting sentences, deleting sentences, and so forth Please explain the difference between a colon and a semicolon So the colon is a type of punctuation, and I’ll go back to the desktop here to explain So a colon leads to a list, quote, or explanation, whereas a semicolon is used to separate two independent clauses, two independent clauses, and the other thing is, for a colon, the first part before the colon also has to be an independent clause So we have an article on tips and strategies again about punctuation, and that you can cover and review there How long, or word count, should your written portion be? And so this sounds like it’s an essay question, so for the essay question, I wouldn’t focus on quantity Instead I would focus on following the prompt, and so the prompt will ask you to analyze how the author uses evidence, quotations, and different rhetorical devices to build up their argument, and so you wanna make sure you focus on the how, and you are able to analyze how the author pieces their argument together A common thing that many students will do is just restate or summarize the passage and say, “The author says this, “and then he says that.” What you wanna do instead is say, “The author’s use of research evidence “and metaphors strengthens his argument “or claim that blah, blah, blah.” And so I wouldn’t focus so much on the length, but I would focus on honing in on that prompt and making sure you answer that rather than just summarizing and restating what the author’s passage was How can you stop yourself from feeling too anxious before and during the SAT test So that’s a great question, and I think there are a few ways you can do that So before the test, I would encourage you to make sure you relax, and so do something that you enjoy, whether that’s sports, or reading, or hanging out with friends, whatever you wanna do to relax When you’re this close to the test, and if you’re taking the test on Saturday, the most important thing to do is to relax and not stress yourself out, so do something that will get your mind off the test, and then during the test, what you can do is think back to all of the good practice habits that you’ve developed, the skills that you’ve learned in school along the way, and just remind yourself that, hey, you’ve done this before You can do this, and then after the test, if it turns out you didn’t feel quite good about how you did, or you’re worried, the good news is that you can take the SAT again And so it’s not a one chance There’s not just one chance to do it, and so if you don’t do quite as well as you hoped, you can always take it again, and that’s completely okay Let’s see, okay So we have last question Due to the more contextualized sentences or paragraphs, how do you think we should manage our time with the reading and questions? So this is an area where I encourage you to experiment, so for some students, they’ll read through the whole passage and then go to the questions, whereas other students will go through the first two paragraphs and then answer those questions and then move on to the next two paragraphs, and then answer the questions And so test out both of those approaches, and figure out which one works best for you What you’ll find is, try to avoid jumping around too much would be a good piece of advice And so if you’re going to whatever strategy you use, don’t jump around too much through the questions because that will force you to jump around through the passage as well, and each time you jump around through the passage, you’ll have to remind yourself, wait, what was the author saying here? What was the author saying over here? So on and so forth, so however you do it, make sure you just go top to bottom, either paragraphs and then questions or reading the whole passage and then going to the questions

So I think those are all the questions that I have time for now, but now you have an option And so I’m gonna flip back over here, and right now, you have two options You can either like I said, head to Khan Academy to do practice problems, and while there, you’ll have access to the one on one chat support from Khan Academy and College Board experts, or you can stay here on YouTube, and I’ll work through a full 11 question writing passage And so this will have all of the context, and you’ll get to see what a real writing passage looks like And so go ahead and decide Do you wanna head to Khan Academy or stay here? Both are gonna be great Both will be really helpful for you, and so just pick one of those, and then I’ll be back on in just a minute Hey there, welcome back So if you’ve decided to stay put and stay on YouTube Live, I’m now going to work through a full writing and language practice passage Keep in mind if you change your mind anytime throughout, and you’re like, “Ah, I’m over this guy,” you can head over to Khan Academy, my feelings won’t be hurt, to practice on your own, and people will be able to chat with you one on one if you have any questions, but we have a full passage ahead of us, and so let’s take a look We’re gonna start by reading just the first two paragraphs of this reading passage And so let’s take a look A high profile unelected official with the political resources to influence domestic policy, so high profile, the President of the United States has a wife known as the First Lady, occupies a unique position Many First Ladies, not content with simply playing the role of a demure wife and social hostess, have taken an active role in the political sphere Even though her power comes by way of marriage rather than from the electorate or the Constitution, the First Lady or First Gentleman has a responsibility to capitalize on her situation and attempt to create significant lasting change If the President of the United States is female, her husband’s title would be the First Gentleman Throughout U.S. history, there have been a number of influential, politically engaged First Ladies from whom future First Ladies or Gentlemen can take inspiration Okay, so before I move on, I just wanna make sure I understand that passage So talking about First Ladies or First Gentlemen today, and the political role and influence that they can have to create lasting change, and then in this last part, it sounds like we’re gonna talk about some First Ladies in history Okay, so that makes sense Let’s keep going Abigail Adams, the second First Lady in American history, was the first to assume a protruding role in the political sphere Unlike her predecessor, Martha Washington, Adams was outspoken, well educated, and quickly developed a reputation of a staunch partisan defender after openly criticizing Congress for not declaring war on France in 1798 Her influence is so well known that opponents claim the President refused to make any appointments without her approbation, and, comma, and aspiring politicians sought her endorsement In recent years, Adams has become a popular topic for biographers because of her thoughts on gender, slavery, and politics Okay, so we’re talking about Abigail Adams in the second one, and how she was well spoken, well educated, so it seems to be quite positive about her role, and so she was influential and supportive Okay, so pretty positive about her Okay, now we’re gonna take a look at this first question So question number one, there’s no question here, so this is what’s called a stemless question And so what that means is that you wanna refer back to this part of the passage where you see the one, and it’s asking you should that part of the passage be changed or not, and if so, how? So let’s reread some of these sentences again to get the context of the passage So a high profile, unelected official with the political resources to influence domestic policy, the President of the United States has a wife known as the First lady, occupies a unique position So that probably sounds weird to you, but why does it sound weird? Well, there’s an issue here called modifier placement, modifier placement, and that really means that you have a phrase that’s meant to modify an object, and it’s pretty far from what it’s supposed to modify So that phrase is, a high profile, unelected official with the political resources, so that’s referring to the wife or the First Lady, and so but the passage doesn’t have that It says we have all of this description about the First Lady or the First Gentleman, and then it says the President of the United States, and so we’re not talking about the President,

and so to fix that, what we can do is move this wife in this case to be a little closer And so let’s take a look at the answer choices We know it’s not no change because there’s that error The United States has a, well, so we’re talking about the First Lady, and if you swap in B, then it’s saying that the United States is a high profile, unelected official, and that does not make sense A country cannot be an elected official, and then the United States President, so again, this one is talking about the President, and so we’re not talking about the President We’re talking about the wife, and so that is how you can go through a stemless question together, and now let’s keep on going That was one of 11, and I wanna show you as many different kinds of SAT Writing questions as possible, so let’s get right back to it So let’s take a look The writer is considering deleting the underlying sentence Should the sentence be kept or deleted? So this is an example of one of the questions that was asked earlier How do I approach a deletion or addition question? And so what I wanna do then is the first decision I try to make is if I wanna keep or delete, and what you’ll notice is in these questions I’ve got two keeps, and I’ve got two deletes And so if I can make this decision about if I should keep or delete, it helps me narrow it down just to two And so what I wanna do is take a look at this paragraph and make sure I understand the context and determine if this really helps the flow of the passage, of the paragraph, and reinforce the author’s point or if it detracts from it So let me just read from about here down to here So even though her power comes by way of marriage rather than from the electorate or the Constitution, the First Lady or First Gentleman has a responsibility to capitalize on her situation and attempt to create significant lasting change If the President of the United States is female, her husband’s title would be First Gentleman, and then I say throughout history, there have been a number of influential or politically engaged First Ladies from whom we can draw inspiration Okay, so let’s think about that flow there Does this second sentence here add or detract from the author’s point and the logical flow of the paragraph? Well, it seems like we’re talking about the First Lady and the responsibility and the opportunity that that person has, and then about all these influential historical First Ladies And so it feels a bit random to me to have this blurb about the First Gentleman because it seems more like a factoid, and so I think it doesn’t help with the passage, and so I’m gonna go ahead and cross those off And then let’s look at C and D, deleted because it interrupts the introduction of the passage’s main point with a loosely related detail So that’s pretty much what I said ’cause so there’s the factoid that I don’t think is relevant, and so that’s pretty positive Feeling good about that Let’s take a look at D, deleted because it weakens the passage’s influence on the importance of work done by several influential First Ladies So I don’t think it does that It’s a random factoid, but the real harm of it is not that it weakens the emphasis, and so C is the right, final answer Okay, let’s keep going then to question number three Which choice is most consistent with the writer’s position as established in the passage? So which choice is most consistent with the writer’s position as established in the passage? And so this is another one of those stemless questions, and so I’d look at question number three here So Abigail Adams, the second First Lady in American history, was the first to assume a protruding role, so we’ve got protruding role, in the political sphere Unlike her predecessor and all of that, okay, so and remember, this paragraph was pretty positive about Abigail Adams, and so we wanna understand if protruding fits and is consistent with the writer’s position And to me, protruding sounded a bit odd when I first read it, and so protruding seems like, the meaning of protruding is of something that is sticking out in some way And so, given that the author is pretty positive about Abigail Adams, to say that she was the First Lady to really stick out in kind of a negative way makes me think that that’s probably out So let’s take a look at B, an obtrusive role, so obtrusive again, also has a similar meaning to protruding in that it’s sticking out but in a slightly negative way So that’s negative That’s negative, and so we can cross that out, and then what about a prominent, first to assume a prominent role in the political sphere So that has a connotation that’s positive

and is positive and roughly means influential, significant, and so that one, I like And then last one, an ostentatious role in the political sphere, so that one again is slightly negative and has a bit more of like a show off connotation or meaning, and so then my final answer here is gonna be C Now I like this question because there were some words in here that maybe you don’t use in everyday language So I don’t know You probably don’t go up to your friends and say, “Hey, you’re really ostentatious,” ’cause it’s not, you know, so there are some words that you might not be as familiar with And so vocab is something that may come up in the SAT, and so what you can do there is anytime you encounter a word on the SAT that you don’t understand, write it down, and go take a look, and look it up, and so that you don’t come across that word again And then you’re like, “Oh, I didn’t look it up “that one time, “and I still don’t know it now, “and here it is again.” And you know, you wanna avoid that situation, and so that’s what I’d encourage you to do, and the more you read and the more you practice on the SAT, the more familiar you’ll get with some of these words So let’s keep on going So question number four, no change, so protruding role Her influence is so well known that opponents claim the President refused to make any appointments without her approbation, so is that correct? Well, what I wanna look at here is the verb tense in the rest of the sentence, and so I’ve got claimed, refused, and so those are all past tense And so I want something that’s past tense, and so I think, was, would fix it Her influence was so well known that opponents claimed the President refused, and so there we go I have my answer of B Okay, moving right along, we’re running a little short on time here, so let’s see, which choice most effectively concludes the paragraph So we wanna look here at this part, and let’s see We’re talking about Abigail Adams, her prominent role, and how she’s very outspoken, and we have in recent years, she’s become a popular topic So that’s pretty positive, and so but I want something that links back to this topic sentence here, and so this is where I’m looking here And so she was the second First Lady and was the first to assume a prominent role, and so I want something positive that also ties back to this topic sentence Okay, so let’s take a look at B In a period of limited female autonomy, Adams demonstrated that the First Lady could substantially influence politics in the United States So yeah, that is very positive, and also ties back to this influence politics in the United States, and then in the topic sentence over here, we’re talking about a influential role in the political sphere So I actually think that one works better than A, so I can go ahead and cross that one off, and then a major component of Adam’s legacy is a collection of more than 1,100 letters written between Adams and her husband So that is another random fact that detracts, and so we’re not talking about these letters The author is really focusing on, nope, on, let me zoom in there, sorry, is really focusing on Abigail herself, not these letters And so then the last part, I’ll just zoom in a little bit more here Abigail Adams was not only the wife of the second U.S. President, but also the mother of the sixth U.S. President, John Quincy Adams So again, that one is talking about the mother, and rather than Abigail Adams, and so B is gonna be our final answer Got some feedback that I should zoom in more, so I will do my best to do that in the second half of the passage First, let’s read the second half of the passage, and then we’ll tackle the questions Okay, from 1933 to 1945, Eleanor Roosevelt was intimately involved in her husband’s domestic policies during the tumultuous Great Depression So intimately involved, for example, she spearheaded the establishment of Arthurdale Arthurdale was a resettlement community that combined subsistence farming and simple industry for impoverished mine workers After convincing her husband to bring the project under federal authority, Roosevelt became the unofficial project director and supported the community through regular visits and budgetary oversight However, she became, however, that’s a funny word to use there She became beloved by the American people who admired her commitment to helping those in need, so admired her commitment to helping those in need So this time, we’re talking about Mrs. Roosevelt here,

and the positive impact she had on policies in the Great Depression, and she was quite well loved by the American people So I’ll draw a heart Okay, let’s keep going here Two decades later, Claudia Lady Bird Johnson pushed further into the political sphere than had any previous First Lady She attended legislative strategy sessions and directly interacted with Congress to garner support for her environmental legislation Okay, environmental legislation, Johnson established her legacy by using her political leverage to influence the passage of nearly 200 environmental laws Wow, that’s a lot of laws that she helped pass So despite the important contribution these First Ladies made to American society, her activism often resulted in scathing critiques Adams was mockingly called Mrs. President Roosevelt was ridiculed in newspapers, and a Montana billboard read, “Impeach Lady Bird.” Yet as Barbara Bush aptly noted, the First Lady is going to be criticized no matter what she does First Ladies have a responsibility to ignore the inevitable criticism They should use the position to create invaluable social and political change as they have for centuries Okay, so we’ve talked about so far Mrs. Roosevelt, Mrs. Johnson here, and then about the need for First Ladies to make change regardless So let’s take a look now at question number six Which option most effectively combines the sentences at the underlying portion? So we’re looking at number six here, so Arthurdale, so four examples, she spearheaded the establishment of Arthurdale, period Arthurdale was a resettlement community that combined subsistence farming Okay, so it’s grammatically correct, but I think I could improve the clarity here and streamline it, and so I might wanna use a comma, would be a good one, and then delete that And so that would be the simplest solution to that, but let’s take a look at the answer choices Arthurdale, and it was a resettlement community that combined, not quite, so not quite Arthurdale, comma, okay, so that one is, combines the sentences effectively and is very streamlined, and so I like that one Arthurdale, semicolon, it was a resettlement community So that one is okay, but it’s not as streamlined as B, and so that’s out, and then Arthurdale, comma, this being the name of, so you don’t need to say that It’s a bit repetitive ’cause you know that you’re talking about Arthurdale, and then this is explaining what it is, and so the answer choice is B Let’s keep going here onto number seven, so this is another one of those stemless questions, and we wanna look at here number seven, and say let’s read a little bit before and a little bit after to get the context Again, context is super important, so after convincing her husband to bring the project under federal authority, Roosevelt became the unofficial project director and supported the community through regular visits and budgetary oversight However, she became beloved by the American people who admired her commitment to helping those most in need So is that the right word for in number seven? So, however, doesn’t feel quite right because all of this passage is quite positive about Eleanor Roosevelt, and so to say, however, indicates that there should be a contrast, and there isn’t a contrast there So we don’t want a contrast It should be something like, therefore, so she’s done all of these great things, and she’s been influential Therefore, she was loved, would make a lot more sense than this contrasting phrase, and so it’s not no change For instance, she became loved That doesn’t quite match my therefore here In keeping with this tradition, nope, we’re not talking about traditions That’s out, and then as a result of these efforts So there we go That one almost exactly matches my therefore prediction and fits with the flow of the passage that says, you know, she was very influential She did all of these great things Therefore, as a result of these efforts, she became well loved So we are almost through to the end, only three more questions, and so we’ll keep going through just so you see a few more question types, and then I’ll close with a few final tips for those of you who are taking the SAT on Saturday So question number eight, so I’ll just zoom in on the question ’cause this is a lengthy question here So you can take a look At this point, the writer wants to provide an example of legislation mentioned in the previous sentence Which choice most effectively accomplishes this goal? So we want an example of legislation Okay, so we’ll come back to these answer choices, but first I wanna look back at the context So this is question number eight,

and so we’re talking about Lady Bird Johnson, so we’re looking here And so two decades later, she pushed further into the political sphere She attended legislative strategy sessions and directly interacted with Congress to garner support for her environmental legislation So bingo, there is the environmental legislation we are talking about, and okay, so we want an example of environmental legislation, and so let’s see which of these answer choices best accomplishes that, and I’ll move back here for now So one such legislative effort, the Beautification Act of 1965, improved the environment surrounding America’s highways by eliminating billboards and junkyards and adding scenic landscaping Well, I’ve got legislative effort there, and I’ve got a act and I’ve got a bill, so any time you see an answer choice that matches a lot of the language in the passage, that’s generally a good sign So I’m feeling good here Let’s take a look though at the other ones After her husband signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Johnson went on two solo, multi-state speaking tours in southern U.S. to advocate for her husband and advance his policies So we’re talking about the Civil Rights Act in this case, and rather than about Johnson’s legislation herself, and it’s also not about the environment So that’s out Lady Bird’s beautification directive had begun when she formed the First Lady’s committee, which focused on urban decay and planted millions of flowers So this one is about the environment, so I like that, but it’s not as strong an answer as this one, and so I don’t have the laws that are being passed And so that one’s not as strong as A, and then the last one, in support of the government’s See America First campaign, Johnson undertook a series of trips to national parks to highlight the natural beauty of the American outdoors and promote ecotourism So again, this one talks about the environment, but then what about the law part? So that one’s out, and so my final answer here is A So just a few more questions here Let’s take a look, question number nine, so this is a stemless question, and so we’re gonna take a look at question number nine Despite the important contributions these First Ladies made to American society, and I’ll zoom in here, her activism often resulted in scathing critiques So I’ll just focus on this her part here, so despite the important contributions these First Ladies made, her activism often resulted So this is a pronoun, her, and what is the pronoun referring to? So important contributions these First Ladies, so this is the antecedent or what the pronoun is referring to So First Ladies and her, well, her doesn’t quite work because First Ladies is plural, so if I go back up here, I want the plural pronoun, so, their, would be this one And so their contribution, so they’re, this one is wrong because this is, they are, so it’s not possessive, and, there, is more like, over there Okey doke, and question number 10, let’s go back over here Okay, her activism often resulted in scathing critiques, colon, Adams was mockingly called Mrs. President Okay, so resulted in scathing critiques, that seems clear, and I don’t see an error here with a colon there, and the part before the colon is an independent clause, so that seems right So I actually don’t there is anything wrong here, so then you can go ahead and go with that And so in this case, I’m able to choose A because I was able to confirm that it was clear, so there’s clarity, and it was also correct And so clarity is more of a, the more you practice, the better you’ll understand what is clear enough and what is not, and then in terms of grammatical correctness, it’s more about familiarity with the standard English conventions and paying attention in English class, but so knowing those two allows me to hone in on A a little bit quicker And then the last question, so mockingly called, impeach Lady Bush, yet as Barbara Bush aptly noted, the First Lady is going to be criticized no matter what she does So yet, comma, as Barbara Bush, comma, aptly noted, the First Lady is going to be criticized no matter what she does Okay, so is there an issue here? So yet, comma, looks good As Barbara Bush, comma, aptly noted, so I don’t think I need the second comma because this is all part of the same prepositional phrase So as Barbara Bush aptly noted, so I don’t think I need that second one, and that should be a fix So yet, comma, as Barbara Bush aptly noted, comma, okay, yup, so that one gets me there So yet as, the comma there, that placement is wrong We know that it’s not no change, and then yet as, well,

I’m missing a comma here, so that one’s out And yeah, so, there we are Now we’ve gone through a full writing passage now, and I know there was some jumping around and some zooming in, so if it was a bit harder to follow along, apologies for that Hopefully this could give you a good example of what it’s like to work through a full SAT Writing and Language passage and also shows you how important it is to take the context of the passage into consideration So that’s all for SAT Writing and Language for now, but to just close things out, for those of you who are taking the SAT this Saturday, I just wanna share a few final tips So the SAT is in two days, so number one, relax Don’t try and cram Don’t try and review all 20 pages of your notes beforehand Just do something that will help you relax, and hang out with friends or read a book or watch TV Play some video games, whatever floats your boat, and then the one thing you should do before Saturday morning is to prepare your backpack with everything Prepare all of your materials for test day, so that is your number two pencils, your photo I.D., your calculator, your admission ticket, and figure out how you’re gonna get there on the morning of so that you’re not rushed or flustered when you wake up And the last thing is just to get a good night’s rest Eat well the night before, and you know, trust yourself, that you’ve been practicing, and you’re ready to take the test, and hopefully you do well, but if not, remember, you can always take the exam again So that is all that I have for you today I hope this was helpful, today’s class was helpful, along with the SAT Reading and Math classes that we hosted before For those of you taking the test on Saturday, best of luck For everyone else, keep practicing Keep working hard, and good luck to you Take care