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What is the author evoking through their stylistic choices?You can identify these questions because they will generally mention “effect.” Example: The free response section has a 15-minute reading period.Essentially, how do authors construct effective arguments in their writing? How can you use those tools to craft effective writing yourself? The exam has two parts: the first section is an hour-long, 52-55 question multiple-choice section that asks you questions on the rhetorical construction and techniques of a series of nonfiction passages. It starts with a 15-minute reading period, and then you’ll have 120 minutes to write three analytical essays: one synthesizing several provided texts to create an argument, one analyzing a nonfiction passage for its rhetorical construction, and one creating an original argument in response to a prompt.
In the next sections I’ll go over each section of the exam more closely—first multiple choice, and then free response.
The multiple-choice section is primarily focused on how well you can read and understand nonfiction passages for their use of rhetorical devices and tools.
They will often specifically use the phrase “rhetorical strategy,” although sometimes you will be able to identify them instead through the answer choices, which offer different rhetorical strategies as possibilities.
Example: Some questions will ask you about stylistic moments in the text and the effect created by the those stylistic choices.
When I took the New SAT in December 2016, I used the techniques I learned in AP Lang for writing my essay, and I got an 8/8/8.
The only difference between the two essays that I know of is the length of the passage.
Example: Some questions will ask you to describe the relationship between two parts of the text, whether they are paragraphs or specific lines.
You can identify these because they will usually explicitly ask about the relationship between two identified parts of the text, although sometimes they will instead ask about a relationship implicitly, by saying something like “compared to the rest of the passage.” Example: These questions will ask you about the deeper meaning or implication of figurative language or imagery that is used in the text.
Example: Still other questions will ask you to identify what purpose a particular part of the text serves in the author’s larger argument.
What is the author trying to accomplish with the particular moment in the text identified in the question?