Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
Home > School and Learning > By Grade > High School > SATs and Other Tests > Typical Errors on the SAT Proofreading Section
|

Typical Errors on the SAT Proofreading Section

Category:
Comparison Errors

Illustrative Sentences

  • In some regions of the state, May's average rainfall is greater than April.
  • The basic policies of the incumbent senator are no different from the candidate challenging her in the upcoming election.
  • Like many other insects, the camouflage strategy of the viceroy butterfly is imitative: potential predators have a hard time distinguishing the tasty viceroy butterfly from the toxic monarch butterfly.
Comparison errors are a type of parallel structure error: the two things being compared must have similar forms. These errors are easy to understand once you observe how a comparison error innocently arises. Using the first illustration, let's write out fully the comparison the writer intended:
    In some regions of the state, May's average rainfall is greater than April's average rainfall.
Okay, so far so good. The average rainfall in one month is being compared with the average rainfall in another month; no problem, yet. Now let's omit a couple of words that would be implied by the sentence structure:
    In some regions of the state, May's average rainfall is greater than April's.
Okay, this sentence is perfectly fine, too. Unfortunately, this version is different from the original sentence: April is not the same as April's. It's easy to read right past this type of error because we unconsciously realize what the sentence "really meant." Notice how carefully you must read this sentence: a single letter and an apostrophe—changing a noun into its possessive form—make all the difference between a correct and an incorrect comparison.

In the second illustration, the basic policies of the senator are being compared with the challenger. A proper comparison could have been the following:

    The basic policies of the incumbent senator are no different from those of the candidate challenging her in the upcoming election.
Notice that a mere two words—those of—make all the difference.

In the third illustration, a strategy (the camouflage strategy of the viceroy butterfly) is being compared with insects (other insects). A proper comparison would have been the following:

    Like that of many other insects, the camouflage strategy of the viceroy butterfly is imitative: potential predators have a hard time distinguishing the tasty viceroy butterfly from the toxic monarch butterfly.
If you're on your toes about this important error, it should not give you much trouble on the SAT.

Related Errors
If this type of error tends to trip you up, you should also review the following categories:

  • ambiguity
  • parallel structure errors


Next: Page 6 >>
|

From The RocketReview Revolution: The Ultimate Guide to the New SAT and the PSAT by Adam Robinson. Copyright © 2005. Used by arrangement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

If you'd like to buy this book, click here.


August 29, 2014



Eating a colorful diet or fruits and veggies helps ensure your child is getting the nutrients he needs to keep his brain sharp while at school. Aim to pack three or more different colored foods in his lunch (or for snack) every day.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!