Please login now to access the My Options Box.  If you don't already have an account with us, click on the Free Registration link
The My College Options® Resource Center provides up to date news and information for students and parents.
Test PrepSATWritingWordiness

SAT Writing Skill Review: Wordiness

The concept of wordiness is tested on the multiple-choice Improve the Sentence questions. However, it also has an impact on the essay section. The rule is simple:

Clear, effective writing is often concise writing.

Inexperienced writers sometimes think that they need to add extra words to their papers to make them sound better. We’d like to caution - don’t just employ empty words for the sake of padding.  If you’re going to add to a piece of writing, make sure what you’re including is substantive (i.e. information, examples, description, explanation, etc.). Remember to keep an eye out for unnecessary wordiness on the Improving Sentences questions and watch for verbosity in your own writing as well.

Here’s a tip to use when making your final answer choice:

When in doubt, choose the shorter answer.

Although not a hard and fast rule, more often than not you’ll be correct.


Try this question:

  1. This is an excellent book that is extremely fun and helpful to read.

    (A)  This is an excellent book that is extremely fun and helpful
    (B)  This is an excellent book which is extremely fun and helpful
    (C)  This excellent book, which is extremely fun and helpful
    (D)  This book, which is helpful, is extremely fun
    (E)  This helpful book is extremely fun

Answer and Explanation

  1. The correct answer is E. Choice E is the shortest and sweetest of the five options. Choices A, B and D all contain unnecessary words, while choice C makes the sentence into a sentence fragment.


Thank you for visiting

My College Options® is an online college planning program that connects millions of high school students with colleges and universities.

Please email us at to find out if your institution is doing everything it can to reach qualified, prospective students. We look forward to hearing from you.

To learn more about the tools and resources available to you, click here


Don Munce