Writing and Language Content Alignment

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The tests in the SAT Suite of Assessments measure the same skills and knowledge in ways that make sense for different grade levels. As students progress, the Writing and Language Tests keep pace, matching the scope and difficulty of work being done in the classroom.

Increasing Sophistication

Questions on the Writing and Language Tests ask students to make increasingly sophisticated choices in vocabulary, sentence structure, organization, tone, and factual support as they progress from the PSAT 8/9 to the PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT.

Examples of Progression
Area of Focus PSAT 8/9 PSAT 10 AND PSAT/NMSQT SAT
Punctuation Use punctuation effectively in simple contexts, such as using commas to separate items in a list. Use punctuation effectively in somewhat challenging contexts, such as using a colon to introduce a list. Use punctuation effectively in challenging contexts, such as using a semicolon to link independent clauses.
Sentence Structure Edit straightforward sentences that pose some challenge, such as sentences with an introductory phrase. Edit compound and complex sentences, including sentences with introductory phrases and clauses. Edit syntactically challenging sentences, such as lengthy sentences that include several clauses.
Graphics Accurately incorporate basic information from graphics into a text. Accurately incorporate somewhat detailed or nuanced information from graphics into a text. Incorporate accurate, specific, and complex information from graphics into a text.