SAT Essay Tips and Tricks

The SAT essay section is part of the SAT writing section that is scored on a scale of 200 to 800 points. The writing section, added to the test in 2005, also includes 49 multiple choice questions that make up 70 percent of the writing score. Students have 35 minutes to complete the multiple choice questions.

Students then have 25 minutes to complete the SAT essay section. The essay will make up 30 percent of the total writing score. On test day, the essay section will provide each student with a prompt that asks them to write a short essay providing a point of view on an issue.

Writing skills are much more important than having prior knowledge about the issue in the prompt. It is important to use proper spelling and grammar throughout the essay and go back and check your work before turning in the test. This part of the SAT also tests how well students can put together a coherent argument and plan out their essay within the required time. Be sure to take the time to write an engaging opening and solid conclusion.

To prepare for the SAT essay section, it is important for students to get comfortable with the type of essay they will need to write for the test. SAT test prep should include plenty of online practice tests and time spent writing similar essays. Reading sample prompts during online test prep sessions will also help you to stay calm and work effectively on test day. When you take practice tests, always set a timer or keep track of your time so that you will know how long it takes you to complete an essay. This will help you to manage your time during the essay section of the SAT.

The SAT essay section is graded by two readers who are provided with detailed criteria for the essay. Each reader independently scores each essay on a scale of one to six. This system has proved an effective way to score the SAT essay section. Studies by the College Board have shown that the readers rank the essay within one point of each other 98% of the time. If there is discrepancy between the first two readers’ scores, a third reader will read and score the essay.

Preparing for the SAT essay section through online test prep and practice essays will help you to do your best work on test day. The ability to write an interesting and coherent short essay is a skill that will be important throughout the college application process and during your college years.

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