One of the SAT II
subject tests. It is 1 hour long and has 60 multiple choice questions.
The first 20 minutes of the test are devoted to creating a writing sample to demonstrate your writing acumen. It is scored by experienced high school and college english teachers. The grading is determined on a scale of 1 to 6. The total essay score is the sum of the 2 reader's scores and is about one third of your total SAT II score. If the reviewers give scores differing by more than 2 points, a third reader is called in to resolve the discrepancy.
The essay is usually something nebulous, with no prior knowledge needed, on topics like "Do you agree or disagree with this quote?" The one I received was "without controversy, there is no progress." You don't have to agree with it, just take a position in the essay and defend your position with examples from literature and everyday life. The score is determined by overall essay structure and organization, how well it answers the question, and choice of wording and grammar. DO NOT write about a different topic. Yes, you may get a very boring topic, something that makes your mind draw a complete blank, but don't begin to write about something else, you'll receive no credit no matter how well it is.
After the proctor says 20 minutes have elapsed, you should start working(if you haven't already) on the rest of the test, the 40 multiple choice questions. Don't worry, you can come back to the essay later, or spend a few more minutes writing a conclusion. Don't take too much time on the essay, the bulk of your score is on the multiple choice questions.
The multiple choice questions are pretty simple, similar to the section found on the PSAT. A sentence is read off, and you must determine which underlined section has an error, with a multiple choice letter under the underlined section. For example:
The other delegates and him immediately accepted the resolution drafted by the neutral states. No error
Whichever underlined section needs correcting in some way is filled in on the multiple choice scantron
sheet. The correct answer is B, the second underlined piece needs to be fixed in the sentence. After about 20 of these questions, there is the next type.
You are to choose which choice should replace the underlined section of the sentence. It should follow the standards of written english, such as grammar, choice of words, sentence construction, and punctuation. When in doubt, go for the shorter answer.
Laura Ingalls Wilder published her first book and she was sixty-five years old then.
(A) and she was sixty-five years old then.
(B) when she was sixty-five.
(C) at age sixty-five years old
(D) upon the reaching of sixty-five years
(E) at the time when she was sixty-five
The correct answer is B. There are around 18 of these questions.
Next, you have to read a passage and determine which sentences you may want to omit, find which one has the main idea, and do some proofreading. There are about 12 questions.
At the end are 9 more questions, the same type as the first.