Student studying for exam
Test Taking

Boost Your SAT English Grammar Score by 20% with Proven Exam Strategies

May 7, 2024

In this comprehensive guide, you can find the most effective exam strategies to boost your SAT English Grammar score by 20% or more. Discover essential exam strategies such as concision and redundancy, combining simple sentences, idioms and conventional expressions, commonly confused words, language formality, conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs, parallel construction, dangling modifiers, and pronouns. With these valuable tips and resources, you can optimize your SAT English Grammar score.

Concision and redundancy

One of the most important skills you need for the SAT English Grammar section is concision. You need to be able to convey your ideas in the fewest words possible. Redundancy can also hurt your score. Here are some examples:

  • Redundant: "The reason why I'm here is because I want to talk to you."Concise: "I'm here to talk to you."
  • Redundant: "At this point in time, we are not yet ready to make a decision."Concise: "We are not yet ready to make a decision."

Combining simple sentences

Another important skill for the SAT English Grammar section is being able to combine simple sentences to create more complex ones. By connecting related ideas, you can enhance the flow and clarity of your writing. Here are some examples:


  • Simple sentence: "She loves to read. She enjoys writing."Combined: "She loves to read and enjoys writing."
  • Simple sentence: "He plays basketball. He runs track."Combined: "He plays basketball and runs track."

Idioms and conventional expressions

You need to be able to recognize idiomatic expressions and use them correctly. Idioms and conventional expressions are phrases that have a specific meaning different from their literal interpretation. Here are some examples:


  • Verbal phrase: "Cut down on"Example: "To improve his health, John decided to cut down on junk food."
  • Verbal phrase: "Bite the bullet"Example: "I knew the exam was going to be difficult, but I had to just bite the bullet and take it."

Commonly confused words

Being able to distinguish between commonly confused words is an important skill for the SAT English Grammar section. By being able to recognize and use these words correctly, you can avoid errors in your writing and improve your score on the SAT English Grammar section.


  • "Accept" means "to receive." "Except" means "excluding."
  • "Affect" is usually a verb, meaning "to influence." "Effect" is usually a noun, meaning "result."

Language formality

Using formal language is important in the SAT English Grammar section. It is recommended to avoid contractions and informal expressions, and to instead use more formal and academic language. This can help to convey a sense of professionalism and clarity in your writing. Remember to review and practice using formal language in your writing to help improve your SAT English Grammar score.


  • "I don't know" should be "I do not know."
  • "You guys" should be "You all" or "You."

Conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs

You need to know how to use conjunctions and conjunctive adverbs to connect ideas. Conjunctions are words that connect words, phrases, or clauses. Conjunctive adverbs are words that connect ideas in a sentence. Here are some examples:


  • Conjunction: "And"Example: "I enjoy swimming and playing tennis."
  • Conjunctive adverb: "However"Example: "He studied hard; however, he didn't perform well on the test."

Parallel construction

Parallel structure refers to using the same grammatical form for similar ideas within a sentence or paragraph. The SAT tests parallel construction to assess your ability to maintain consistency in writing. For example:


  • Incorrect: "She likes running, to swim, and cycling."
  • Correct: "She likes running, swimming, and cycling."
  • Incorrect: "He likes to hike, swimming, and cycling."
  • Correct: "He likes to hike, swim, and cycle."

Dangling modifiers

A dangling modifier is a mistake that happens when a word or phrase meant to describe something doesn't have anything to describe. It can make the sentence hard to understand or not make sense at all. To avoid this mistake, it's important to make sure that the thing being described is clearly stated in the sentence. If it's not, try changing the sentence to include it.


  • Incorrect: "Walking down the street, the flowers looked beautiful."
  • Correct: "Walking down the street, I saw beautiful flowers."
  • Incorrect: "Having finished the book, the TV was turned on."
  • Correct: "Having finished the book, I turned on the TV."


Pronouns are words that are used in place of nouns. They can refer to people, places, things, or ideas. Some common examples of pronouns include "he," "she," "it," "they," and "we." Using pronouns correctly is important in writing to avoid repetition and maintain clarity.


  • Instead of saying "John went to John's house," you could say, "He went to his house.”
  • Instead of saying "The dog chased the cat. It was very fast,” you could say, "The dog chased the cat. The cat was very fast."


What is the SAT English Grammar section?

The SAT English Grammar section is a portion of the SAT test that evaluates your ability to use proper grammar, punctuation, and syntax in written English.

How long is the SAT English Grammar section?

The SAT English Grammar section is 35 minutes long and consists of 44 multiple choice questions.

Can I use a calculator on the SAT English Grammar section?

No, calculators are not allowed on the SAT English Grammar section.

How can I prepare for the SAT English Grammar section?

You can prepare for the SAT English Grammar section by studying grammar rules, practicing with sample questions and tests, and working with a tutor or teacher.

How important is the SAT English Grammar section for college admissions?

The SAT English Grammar section is important for college admissions as it is one of the factors that colleges consider when evaluating your application. A high score on this section can help demonstrate your mastery of the English language and your ability to effectively communicate in writing.


In conclusion, understanding and applying the essential SAT grammar rules and strategies can make a significant difference in your SAT English Grammar score. Remember to practice consistently, review the rules, and apply them effectively in your writing.

To further enhance your learning and maximize your SAT preparation, subscribe to Aha's AI learning platform. With Aha, you can learn smart, not hard, by accessing a wide range of SAT resources, interactive lessons, and personalized practice materials. Gain valuable insights, track your progress, and boost your confidence for test day. Subscribe to Aha's AI learning platform today and take your SAT English Grammar skills to the next level!

Remember, the SAT is an opportunity to showcase your skills and abilities. By mastering the grammar rules and strategies outlined in this guide, you'll be well-equipped to tackle the English Grammar section and achieve your target score. Put in the effort, stay focused, and approach the test with confidence. Best of luck on your SAT journey!

Relevant links

Download or Export icon
Download or Export icon
Download or Export icon
Download or Export icon
Download or Export icon
Download or Export icon
Download or Export icon
Download or Export icon

Related Blogs