12/20/10

2010 PSAT - Wednesday - Section 5 (Writing)

The following are TestTakers' suggestions for answering the questions on the October 13th, 2010 PSAT, Section 5 (the writing section). Click "Read More" to view!



1) Verb agreement, people - "plans . . . was." (C) and (E) contain no verb. (B) is not concise and contains a dangling modifier.

The answer is (D)


2) "Having been" is not a main verb, so the sentence is verbless. (B) and (E) similarly have no verb; (D) is not concise.

The answer is (C).


3) "Extensive" is an adjective, but it modifies "writes," a verb, so it should be an adverb--"extensively!" (C) and (D) contain no verb; (E) is not concise.

The answer is (B).


4) Bills can't adjourn, which is the problem for (A) and (C). (B) and (E) contain pronoun agreement problems.

The answer is (D).


5) (D) is the only answer choice that gives the sentence a main verb.

The answer is (D).


6) All answer choices besides (C) create run-on sentences. (A) and (B) also have pronoun agreement problems.

The answer is (C).


7) (A), (B) and (D) create lists that are not parallel. (C) separates the words "poet" and "critic" by a comma, when they should be separated by the word "and."

The answer is (E).


8) "The longer . . . the less." Only (B) creates a parallel list. Remember: lists can be as few as two items long!

The answer is (B).


9) Concise expression! Look out for passive voice ("a loss . . . was felt" as opposed to "they felt the loss") because passive voice is practically always the least concise option. (A), (B) and (C) all have passive voice problems, and (D) is not as concise as (E), especially given the use of "their" in (D).

The answer is (E).


10) Neither (B) nor (D) contains a main verb. (C) and (D) create dangling modifiers. (E) creates a pronoun agreement problem ("their").

The answer is (A).


11) (A) and (B) are dangling modifiers, (E) creates a run-on, and (D) is not concise (Michael Radford IS "he").

The answer is (C).


12) (A), (B) and (E) all create run-ons. (C) suggests that the events of the sentence take place *while* Elizabeth was overcoming rebuffs, instead of *afterward.*

The answer is (D).


13) (A) and (E) have pronoun agreement problems. (B) is a dangling modifier and (D) uses passive voice, which isn't concise.

The answer is (C).


14) (A) falsely compares "predecessors" to "robots;" (C) compares "inventors" to "robots. In (D) "Whereas" is the wrong word (a diction issue) and (E) is not concise.

The answer is (B).


15) No error! (B) and (D) have pronoun agreement problems, (C) creates a run-on and (E) is not concise.

The answer is (A).


16) All answers besides (E) suffer from terminal verb agreement syndrome! (People/is in (A) and talent/are in the others.)

The answer is (E).


17) (A) and (B) have pronoun agreement problems. (C) and (E) use the word "firefighters," but "each" is SINGULAR.

The answer is (D).


18) (A) and (E) have pronoun agreement problems, (B) and (D) create unparallel lists ("eats" vs. "encouraging" instead of "encourages") and (D) has a bonus issue: it's a run-on!

The answer is (C).


19) Every answer except (E) has pronoun agreement problems.

The answer is (E).


20) (C), (D) and (E) create dangling modifiers. Neither (B) nor (E) is concise (and (E) specifically uses not only passive voice but also the forbidden word "being!").

The answer is (A).


21) A rare phenomenon in Error IDs - (B) isn't concise. Just replace the whole thing with "that" and it's much, much better.

The answer is (B).


22) No error. Remember always to guess "no error" if you can't find something you're SURE is wrong!

The answer is (E).


23) (B) creates a run-on sentence.

The answer is (B).


24) Double trouble: (A) creates a dangling modifier (a book can't base anything on anything; only an author can do that) AND a pronoun agreement problem ("it).

The answer is (A).


25) For groups of 3 or more, use the -est suffix instead of -er (e.g. "youngest").

The answer is (A).


26) No error.

The answer is (E).


27) Idiom. "Oblivious to" is the correct grammatical structure.

The answer is (D).


28) No error.

The answer is (E).


29) Idiom. "To where" should be "that."

The answer is (C).


30) Verb agreement! "Have been" refers to the role that has (singular) been acknowledged by scholars. This one is a little tricky, since the sentence only refers indirectly to that role.

The answer is (D).


31) Pronoun agreement! "Colds" is not an "it."

The answer is (D).


32) Unparallel comparison! You can't compare venom to a rattlesnake.

The answer is (D).


33) "Insured" is the wrong word. You're looking for "assured."

The answer is (A).


34) Verb tense. "To be built" is present tense, but the pyramid was built in the past; the correct tense structure is "to have been built." It's a good idea to keep an eye out for verb tense issues when you're checking verb agreement!

The answer is (C).


35) (A) gives a false statement and has a pronoun agreement problem. (B) creates a dangling modifier. (D) also has a pronoun agreement problem, and (E) presents two facts (the training of the chimps and the operation of the machine) as though they're unrelated. Huh?

The answer is (C).


36) In (A) the words "not so" suggest something is being disproved, but no, something is not being disproved. (C) is wrong because "Although" can't start the main part of a sentence. Neither (D) nor (E) provides a contrast word, but we need one.

The answer is (B).


37) (A): No example needed. (B): No contrast needed. (C): "Slugs" is the name of a thing, not a saying, so there's no need for "so to speak." (E): Failing to work is not a "result" of being put in the cage.

The answer is (D).


38) (B): "Intelligence" and "dexterity" aren't mentioned ever again in the paragraph. (C): The paragraph doesn't answer this question. (D) and (E) provide generalizations for which no examples follow in the paragraph (how did the chimps differ from each other? who was "not everyone?").

The answer is (A).


39) (A): Other apes are irrelevant to the essay. (B): The native habitat of chimps is irrelevant to the essay. (C): Human use of coins is irrelevant to the essay. (E): Aggression in chimps is irrelevant to the essay.

The answer is (D).


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