Table of Contents
- Parallelism and parallel lists | An overview
- Why is parallelism important for SAT/ACT?
- Breakdown of question types in SAT verbal section
- Why is it a big deal?
- Basics of parallelism & parallel lists
- Spotting and correcting parallelism and parallel lists
- IELTS vs SAT/ACT | Which is better for testing parallelism?
- Time management in mastering parallelism and parallel lists
- Role of parallelism and parallel lists in your overall score?
- Practice makes perfect | Exercises on parallelism and parallel lists
- Key takeaways
Parallelism and parallel lists | An overview
You know that feeling when you read a sentence, and something just seems… off? It’s not grammatically incorrect, but it still doesn’t sound right. That “off” feeling often has to do with a lack of parallelism, a concept that SAT/ACT tests frequently. So, let’s deep-dive into parallelism and parallel lists to get rid of that uncomfortable feeling forever, shall we?
Why is parallelism important for SAT/ACT?
Parallelism is crucial for SAT/ACT as it accounts for a significant portion of questions in the verbal sections of these exams. SAT/ACT verbal sections are often dreaded, and for a good reason.
Also, did you know that the SAT‘s evidence-based reading and writing section alone has 96 questions to be answered in 100 minutes? Out of these, about 15% are related to parallelism and sentence structure.
Breakdown of question types in SAT verbal section
|Question type||No. of questions||Question %|
|Vocabulary in context||20||20.8%|
|Parallelism and sentence structure||14||14.5%|
Why is it a big deal?
SAT/ACT are not just about grammar; they’re about clarity and style, too. Parallelism and parallel lists help in both. For example, “She likes running, swimming, and to read” just doesn’t have the same rhythm as “She likes running, swimming, and reading.
Basics of parallelism & parallel lists
Parallelism involves using the same grammatical form for similar elements within a sentence. In simpler terms, think of parallelism as balance. If you’re listing things or presenting alternatives, the structure should be consistent. Imagine it as a balanced scale; if one side is off, it tips the whole thing over.
For instance, the sentence “He is neither a doctor, nor an engineer” employs parallelism as both “a doctor” and “an engineer” follow the same structure.
Then, what are parallel lists? While parallelism is about balancing elements, what are parallel lists? Essentially, it’s a subset of parallelism. Here, you make sure the items in a list have the same grammatical structure.
For instance, consider the sentence, “She enjoys painting, hiking, and cooking.” All items in the list are gerunds, making it a parallel list.
Spotting and correcting parallelism and parallel lists
Recognizing errors in parallelism involves looking for inconsistencies in the sentence structure, especially in lists or contrasting elements.
How to spot issues?
You can easily spot these issues by reading the sentence aloud. Your ears are great at picking up awkward phrasing. Another way is to identify the elements that are supposed to be parallel, strip down the sentence to those elements, and see if they fit together seamlessly.
For example, in the sentence “I like to jog, running, and to read,” the stripped-down version is “I like to jog, running, to read” — and it sounds off, right?
How to correct issues?
Once you’ve identified the problem, the next step is fixing it. Realign the elements to follow the same grammatical structure. So, the awkwardly phrased sentence now becomes “I like jogging, running, and reading.”
IELTS vs SAT/ACT | Which is better for testing parallelism?
Both SAT/ACT and IELTS test parallelism but emphasize different aspects of it. Read on to know how these two differ in testing parallelism and parallel lists!
IELTS vs SAT/ACT for testing parallelism
While SAT/ACT tends to focus more on stylistic elements, IELTS looks for structural coherence. The two exams assess parallelism but through different lenses. It’s like comparing apples to oranges; what matters is what you’re looking to get out of the test.
Which one should you take?
If you’re going for a holistic evaluation that includes a range of sentence structures, SAT/ACT is your go-to. On the other hand, if you’re more concerned with strict grammatical norms, IELTS might be up your alley.
Time management in mastering parallelism and parallel lists
Effective time management is key when you’re trying to spot and correct questions on parallelism and parallel lists under a ticking clock.
Why time management matters?
You could know all the rules for parallelism and parallel lists, but if you can’t put them to use quickly, they won’t help much on the SAT/ACT. You need to develop a quick eye for spotting errors and an even quicker hand to solve them.
Time management tips
- Quick scans: Learn to skim through a sentence and identify potential spots for errors.
- Allocate time: Dedicate specific time slots for different question types. It helps to keep a buffer for tougher ones.
- Use a stopwatch: During practice, use a stopwatch to track how much time you spend on each question. This will help you identify critical areas that need improvement.
Role of parallelism and parallel lists in your overall score?
Understanding parallelism can significantly contribute to your SAT/ACT score, not just in the verbal section but also in how you interpret reading passages.
Why parallelism affects your score?
These exams test your ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Parallelism and parallel lists serve as tools for that. If you get these right, you’re essentially signaling that you can handle complex information and distill it into something coherent.
- SAT verbal: Approximately 10-15% of the SAT verbal section questions could be related to parallelism.
- ACT English: Around 5-10% of ACT English questions test parallelism.
Practice makes perfect | Exercises on parallelism and parallel lists
Practice is essential for mastering parallelism, and we’ve got some exercises that will make you a pro.
Importance of practice exercises
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Practice makes perfect. When it comes to parallelism and parallel lists, this couldn’t be more accurate. Exercises can help you internalize strategies, so they become second nature during the exam.
Types of exercises you should focus on
- Spot the error: These exercises give you a sentence with an issue in parallelism. Your job is to find and correct it.
- Multiple choice: These are the closest to the SAT/ACT format, where you pick the correct parallel structure from several options.
- Rewriting sentences: Here, you rewrite sentences to make them parallel.
- Spot the error
Question: She likes hiking, swimming, and to read.
Correction: She likes hiking, swimming, and reading.
- Multiple choice
Question: He enjoys (a) reading (b) to run (c) swimming.
Correct Answer: (a) reading
- Rewriting sentences
Question: The dog jumps and was barking.
Correction: The dog jumps and barks.
Feel free to try these exercises as much as you want and get the hang of parallelism & parallel lists!
- Parallelism plays a significant role in SAT/ACT, impacting both your style and score.
- Recognizing and correcting issues in parallelism is crucial for improving your SAT/ACT verbal score.
- Practice exercises help you internalize the rules of parallelism, making it easier to spot issues during the exam.
We hope this blog was insightful. If you have any questions or doubts regarding the SAT, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Liked this blog? Read more: New SAT Format 2023: Overview, Differences & Benefits!
Q1) What are parallel lists?
Answer: Parallel lists are a subset of parallelism where all the items in a list follow the same grammatical structure.
Q2) Is TOEFL better than SAT/ACT for testing parallelism?
Answer: SAT/ACT and TOEFL test parallelism but with different focuses. SAT/ACT is more about style, while TOEFL emphasizes structural coherence.
Q3) How can I practice parallelism for SAT/ACT?
Answer: Use a variety of exercises like spotting the error, multiple-choice questions, and rewriting sentences to get a hang of parallelism.
Q4) Where can I find more practice exercises?
Answer: Numerous online resources offer free practice exercises, including iSchoolConnect.