I regularly see elite scorers get Command of Evidence questions wrong until they commit to using the technique I’ve outlined below. The purpose of this technique is to give your brain the best possible chance of finding the right answer. If you do not follow all the steps, the technique will not work. 

  1. Read the “Sentence Sandwich.” The sentence sandwich includes (1) the sentence before the one they’re asking about, (2) the sentence they’re asking about, and (3) the sentence after that one. 
  2. Abandon trying to figure out “yes/no” or “kept/deleted.” This is a waste of time and you may be wrong.
  3. Read each of the answers from “…because it.” Eliminate all of the statements that are false.
  4. If eliminating the false answer options leaves you with 2 choices, pick the option that is consistent with the SAT’s values.*

SAT “values” on W&L: The SAT test writers have certain things they think make writing good and other things they think make writing bad. It is important to know what the test writers are looking for so that you can pick answers that are consistent with their “value system.” 

SAT loves conciseness (shorter is better), semiformal/ formal tone (appropriate adult wording), and preciseness (clearly stating the ideas).

SAT dislikes wordiness (overly flowery language that doesn’t add content), redundancy (repeating things that have already been established), excessively casual tone (the way you may talk to your friends), and vagueness (being imprecise or unclear).