SAT II Writing - idioms??

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: SAT II Writing - idioms??
By Wab (Wab) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 10:30 pm: Edit

The grammar thing I can handle, but idioms!? Do they really test that stuff on the SAT II Writing? Here's an example question from a SAT II writing practice book I have (Petersons). It's one of those "fix the underlined section" things:

Many accused criminals are offered a plea bargain (because a bird in the hand is better than facing a long prison sentence.)

A) because a bird in the hand is better than facing a long prison sentence.
B) because a bird in the hand are better than facing a long prison sentence.
C) because a bird in hand is better than two in the bush.
D) because it is best to have a bird in the hand than facing a long prison sentence.
E) because knowing with absolute certainty, beyond a reasonable doubt, one's own fate is preferential to risking a longer sentence in prison.

The correct answer is C. Now, I thought that for these questions, you generally stayed with the same words, but just altered some things to make it more gramatically correct or better-sounding. But, this question's sorta weird... will they have anything like this for real?

By Luckystar1111 (Luckystar1111) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 10:45 pm: Edit

Definitely not. This is the stupidest question I have seen in a while. Idioms generally only include prepositional phrases and the like (e.g. "succumb to," "succeed in"). You do not actually need to memorize all those idiomatic phrases. This question is a good example why I did not use Peterson's for Writing. (I used Barron's, Princeton, and Kaplan).

By Wab (Wab) on Sunday, April 25, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit

Yeah, I got a bunch of Petersons and then I realized how much they suck and make stuff WAY more complicated than they need to be. Luckily I have a bunch of Barrons too.

By Ubercollegeman (Ubercollegeman) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 02:55 am: Edit

Many idioms on the SATII are fairly obvious. As long as you speak English regularly you should be able to catch most of them.

And to support luckystar, that is also the dumbest question I have ever seen. That isn't even an idiom, at least not an SATII idiom; it's a cliche (with the funny e). Peterson's SATII Writing book is absolutely terrible. I wouldn't recommend any of Peterson's prep books if the others even remotely resemble their writing book. I don't want to sound repetitive, so luckystar basically hit the nail on the head.

By Conker (Conker) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 06:54 am: Edit

This is really not a difficult idiom, but I highly doubt that it'll be on the exam.

By Justice (Justice) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 11:29 am: Edit

Haha look at choice E. THe people who wrote Peterson's must have been on crack or something..

By Tired_Student (Tired_Student) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 05:00 pm: Edit

Most idioms include

I go in the store when it should be go into the store

Or Irregardless of his errors, he still received an 800. (Irregardless isnt a word)

Or SHe doubts if she is sexy when it should be She doubts THAT she is a sexy

and this list goes on. They most test ones that are common when used colloquially.

Favorite One: Some dude was independent from his parents when it should be Some dude was independent of his parents.

I know it sounds weird :)

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