12/13/10

2010 PSAT - Saturday - Section 5 (Writing)

The following are TestTakers' suggestions for answering the questions on the October 16th, 2010 PSAT, Section 5 (the writing section). Click "Read More" to view!




1. Parallelism (List)! "Hearing" and "decided" are not in the same tense and thus are not parallel. To create correct parallelism, "hearing" must appear in the past tense (a.k.a. "heard"). This eliminates answer choices (A), (B), and (E). Answer choice (C) is less concise than choice (D).

(D) is the answer.

2. Verb Agreement/Tense! The subject "tests" does not agree with the verb "indicating". To get the subject and verb to agree, "indicating" must be changed to "indicate", eliminating answer choices (A) and (D). Choices (C) and (E) are both fragments.

(B) is the answer.

3. Pronoun Agreement! The pronoun "them" does not agree with the noun it is replacing ("the bald eagle"). Because "the bald eagle" is singular, we can eliminate answer choices (A), (B), and (D) because they contain plural pronouns. Choice (E) creates a run-on sentence.

(C) is the answer.

4. There is nothing wrong with the sentence as written.

(A) is the answer.

5. As written, the sentence contains the word "being". DO NOT CHOOSE "BEING" IF THERE ARE MORE CONCISE OPTIONS!!! Answer choice (D) is the most concise and is grammatically correct.

(D) is the answer.

6. There is nothing wrong with the sentence as written.


(A) is the answer.

7. Answer choices (C) and (D) are the most concise, but (D) is a run-on sentence!

(C) is the answer.

8. Dangling Modifier! The phrase "finding its way through sediment on the sea floor" is NOT describing the 400-700 whiskers. That phrase is describing the walrus. The walrus is finding its way! Thus, the words "the walrus" must immediately follow the comma. This eliminates choices (A), (C) ["walruses" does not agree with the earlier pronoun "its"], (D) [a walrus' snout ≠ a walrus], and (E).

(B) is the answer.

9. Answer choice (D) is the most concise and is grammatically correct.

(D) is the answer.

10. Pronoun Agreement! The pronoun "their" does not agree with the noun to which it is referring ("a scallop"). Because "a scallop" is singular, we can eliminate answer choices (A), (B), and (D) because they contain plural pronouns. Choice (C) is more concise than choice (E).

(C) is the answer.

11. Dangling Modifier! The phrase "a best seller when it was first published" is NOT describing "many". That phrase is describing the book, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Thus, the title of the book must immediately follow the comma. This eliminates choices (A), (B), and (C). (E) is incorrect because it is a fragment.

(D) is the answer.

12. There is nothing wrong with the sentence as written.

(A) is the answer.

13. Because of the phrase "until about 135 years ago" and the verb "discovered", the action of the sentence takes place in the past. Thus, the main verb in the sentence must be in the past tense. This eliminates answer choices (A), (D), and (E). Answer choice (B) has the correct verb tense and is more concise than answer choice (C).

(B) is the answer.

14. Run-On Sentence! The sentence as written is a run-on. To fix this run-on, we need a conjunction following the comma between the two sentences. The only answer choice with a conjunction immediately after the comma is (D) ["and"].

(D) is the answer.

15. Answer choice (D) is the most concise and is grammatically correct.

(D) is the answer.

16. The phrase "would have to rent out her apartment" contains a verb in the future tense. Thus, the underlined portion must also be in the future tense. Because of this, we can eliminate answer choices (A) and (D). Answer choices (C) and (E) contain unnecessary uses of the word "being". "BEING" IS BAD!

(B) is the answer.

17. Parallelism (Comparison)! The sentence contains a comparison. Here, the sentence says that one thing wastes more energy than another thing. The laws of parallelism dictate that the two things wasting energy must be comparable (e.g. two people, two cars, two actions). You CANNOT compare to unlike things (e.g. a person and a car). Based on this rule, we can eliminate answer choices (A) [comparing "someone" to "leaving"], (B) [comparing "someone" to "if they leave"], (C) [comparing "to drive" to "by leaving"], and (D) [comparing "by driving" to "than leaving"]. Answer choice (E) contains a valid comparison [comparing "driving" to "leaving"].

(E) is the answer.

18. This sentence contains an incorrect construction of a common idiom. The songs are described as "ranging from popular tunes... in addition to religious hymns." The word "ranging" implies a "from [this]... to [that]" relationship. Thus, the "in addition" is unnecessary. All we need is the word "to", as in choice (E).

(E) is the answer.

19. Answer choice (E) is the most concise and is grammatically correct.

(E) is the answer.

20. There is nothing wrong with the sentence as written.

(A) is the answer.

21. As the phrase "the other jurors and me" is being used as the subject of the sentence, the pronoun "me" is in the wrong case and must be changed to "I".

(B) is the answer.

22. "Who had flew" is not a correct grammatical construction. You can use either of the correct forms "who had flown"or "who flew". This is an error in diction.

(A) is the answer.

23. Parallelism (Comparison)! Once you have said "not so much from [this]", the phrase "as from [that]" must follow. The use of the phrase "as because of" is incorrect and should be replaced with the phrase "as from".

(D) is the answer.

24. There is no error in the sentence as written.

(E) is the answer.

25. Verb Agreement! The subject ("The Tale of Peter Rabbit") is singular. The verb ("were") is plural. Thus, the subject and verb do not agree as written. The verb should be changed to "was".

(A) is the answer.

26. This sentence contains an incorrect construction of a common idiom. The phrase "from 1851" implies a "from [this]... to [that]" relationship. Thus, the sentence should read "from 1851... TO the beginning of the Civil War...".

(C) is the answer.

27. The word "positive" is describing how the readers responded. The adverb form of "positive" is necessary for the sentence to make sense ("responded positively"). This is an error in diction.

(B) is the answer.

28. Parallelism (List)! The verbs "censor" and "continues" are not parallel. The ending "s" on "continues" should be dropped to create a parallel construction between "censor" and "continue".

(D) is the answer.

29. Answer choice (C) contains the unnecessary pronoun "it". The pronoun should be dropped so that the answer choice simply reads "became" rather than "it became".

(C) is the answer.

30. There is no error in the sentence as written.

(E) is the answer.

31. This sentence contains an incorrect construction of a common idiom. When discussing the subject of a debate, the word "debate" must always be followed by the word "about". "Debate with" is acceptable only if you are discussing the person with whom you are debating. This is not the case here, so the word "with" in answer choice (A) should be changed to "about".

(A) is the answer.

32. Noun Agreement/Parallelism (List)! The noun "three" does not agree with the noun "a member". Because "three" is plural, "a member" should be changed to "members" to create agreement.

(D) is the answer.

33. Verb Agreement! The subject ("study") is singular. The phrase "of the animals' skeletons and tusks" is a prepositional phrase and should be crossed out. The verb ("suggest") is plural. Thus, the subject and verb do not agree as written. The verb should be changed to "suggests", and that portion of the sentence should read "a recent study of the animals' skeletons and tusks suggests otherwise."

(C) is the answer.

34. Run-On Sentence! As written, there are two full sentences separated by a comma only. The easiest way to fix this problem is to add a conjunction. For example, the sentence could read as follows: "The first woman... was Mary Dixon Kies, and her new method... proved useful to hatmakers." A second possibility would be to turn the second half of the sentence into a fragment. For instance: "The first woman... was Mary Dixon Kies, whose new method... proved useful to hatmakers."

(B) is the answer.

35. When combining the sentences, you must be sure to keep the cause and the effect in the correct order. Also, there should not be a contrasting relationship between the cause and the effect. Answer choices (B) and (E) switch the order of the cause and the effect. Answer choices (A) and (D) contain unnecessary contrast by using the words "however" and "but" respectively.

(C) is the answer.

36. Sentence 5 of the passage contains the phrase "unscrupulous employers". Thus, the following sentence should contain specific examples of how the employers treated their employees poorly.

(D) is the answer.

37. Sentence 9 of the passage says that members of the labor union arrived to help the mill workers. Thus, the following sentence should contain specific examples of how the union helped the workers.

(A) is the answer.

38. The third paragraph is about violence in the mills. Thus, the topic sentence of the paragraph should contain a statement about violence occurring. Answer choice (A) may be tempting, but it is too broad and does not directly relate to the passage.

(C) is the answer.

39. Parallelism (List)! The verb tense of "turn" must match the verb tense of "create" in order for the sentence to be parallel. This eliminates choices (A) and (E). Of the remaining answer choices, (C) is the most concise.

(C) is the answer.

1 comment: