Date of publication: 2017-08-24 08:02
Even though the SAT essay has clearly stated, publicly-available guidelines, there are a few secrets to writing the essay that most students don't know and that can give you a major advantage on the test.
If you take the SAT with Essay, your essay scores will always be reported along with your other scores from that test day. Even though Score Choice ™ allows you to choose which day’s scores you send to colleges, you can never send only some scores from a certain test day. For instance, you can’t choose to send Math scores but not SAT Essay scores.
This basically boils down to: don't be repetitive and don't make grammar mistakes. In addition, you should avoid using first person statements like "I" or "My" in the essay, along with any other informality. You're writing the equivalent of a school paper, not an opinion piece.
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The new essay is all about argument analysis a skill that many Social Studies and English classes in high school try to hone. If you practice these skills in class and work with your teachers to improve your writing ability, you will be more comfortable writing the SAT essay. Merely the act of writing itself tends to improve your overall writing ability, so think of all your high school assignments as making your writing clearer and stronger for the SAT down the road.
When it comes to the essay on the ACT vs. new SAT, both tests make this section optional. For the new SAT Essay section, you’re required to analyze an argument and offer evidence as to why the author’s argument is valid or invalid. Alternatively, the ACT Essay section presents you with three different perspectives on a particular issue, and your job is to evaluate each of them. On both essays, your score depends on your ability to organize your thoughts, present evidence, and convey your ideas in a clear way.
This brings up the question: Why do some colleges require SAT and/or ACT essay scores while others don’t? Take a look at the reasons why many colleges consider the SAT and ACT essays optional for all of their applicants:
The more you practice the analysis and the writing, the better you’ll get at the task of writing an SAT essay (as you work up to it a little at a time).
7. Divide your time.
You will have twenty-five minutes to write your essay. As soon as you begin, make a note of the time and give yourself benchmarks and limits. For example, give yourself five minutes to brainstorm for main points (which will become topic sentences), one minute to come up with a great introduction, two minutes to organize your examples into paragraphs, etc.
You’ll have one page for (ungraded) scrap paper that you can use to plan out your essay, and four pages of writing paper for the essay – plan on writing at least two pages for your essay.
But don't forget : while it’s okay to break up the practice at first, you also really do need to get practice buckling down and doing the whole task in one sitting.