One of the three types of questions on the PSAT Writing Section, is this type: improving sentences. Here's more about this type of question!
PSAT Improving Sentences Basics
Each question will be a sentence with one longer underlined portion. Your job is to decide if that underlined portion sounds great the way it is, or if you can improve it by choosing on of the five choices listed below the sentence.
Here, you’ll be tested on understanding clarity, how words fit together, proper placement of parts of speech, and the like. These are not testing your creativity; so, if the answer choice you’ve selected changes the meaning of the sentence, choose again! That’s the wrong answer.
Answer These Questions Second
Because these are longer than the identifying sentence errors questions, and shorter than the improving paragraphs questions, these should be the questions you work on second. Remember, you can’t get points for a question you don’t answer, so start easy and then move on.
The Questions Get More Difficult As You Proceed.
As you answer them in order, which you will if you’re test-savvy, they will become increasingly more difficult. So it’s good to get your feet wet on the first ones, because you’ll have an easier time getting them right. (Getting things right = a higher score.)
PSAT Improving Sentences Example
Again, you'll be given a sentence with a portion of it underlined. That underlined portion may or may not contain some sort of error. Here’s a hint for solving: if the underlined portion sounds great the way it is, choose answer “A”. “A” will always be an exact replica of the underlined part of the sentence. Since I can’t underline in this format, I’ll italicize the portion you need to study to determine if there is an error.
Certain shipwrecks have a particular fascination for those people which have a belief in finding the treasure in them.
A. which have a belief in finding the treasure in them
B. that belief there is treasure to be found in them
C. who believe they hold treasure and that they can find it
D. who believe that there is treasure to be found in them
E. who believe about treasure to be found in them
The correct choice is D.
Why? For one, you need a correct pronoun/antecedent combo. People is being replaced by "which" in the example sentence, when it needs to be replaced by "who". So, that gets rid of choices A and B. Choice E doesn't make any sense, and Choice C offers "they" as a pronoun with no clear antecedent. Thus, Choice D is your correct answer.