Yes, it’s true; the SAT now has an essay. It’s part of the Writing section, and you’ll have 25 minutes to complete it, or else!
Seriously, writing a killer essay for your SAT exam in 25 minutes or less might seem like an impossible task, but with a little preparation you can make mission impossible, mission possible!
Don’t get me wrong, crafting a well-written essay in 25 minutes on the SAT is difficult for anyone (even an English teacher), however there are a few tricks to make your next SAT exam a success!
The key to the SAT essay is simple, all that’s involved is a little practice and preparation. Practicing your essay responses and knowing what to expect will ensure you’re prepared for test day. But how can you predict the SAT essay question you’ll receive on test day? Well, there are actually are a number of patterns found on the SAT essay section – 15 patterns to be exact. Sacrifice, technology and progress, values, heroism, conflict community are wisdom are just a few essay themes. You should begin by practicing writing essays on these themes, so that on test day you will have a number of pre-written essay responses on hand. This obviously is critical to knocking out a well-written essay in under 25 minutes.
Next is the preparation. Knowing what to expect on test day helps, however it doesn’t buy you too much time at all, and time is precious. As your preparing for test day, keep these things in mind:
Your essay must be over 400 words in length. Research has found that 90% of essays over 400 words in length receive the highest score of 12, so try to be an overachiever here, but keep in mind that content is key.
The essay must be organized into multiple paragraphs. At the minimum, you should include an introductory paragraph just like another essay, but you will also need to include several supporting paragraphs to cover each example. Finally, you should tie everything together with a conclusion. Keep your examples short and to the point, as essays that cover multiple examples in the same supporting paragraph won’t score as well, and won’t serve as a positive example.
Make sure you use a pencil for the essay, an essay written in blue or black ink will receive a score of 0.
Do not write your essay in your test book. Credit will only be given for what you write in your answer sheet.
An off-topic essay will receive a score of 0, so make sure you stay on topic.
Avoid wide margins, and keep your handwriting to a reasonable size. Remember that people who are not familiar with your handwriting will read what you write. Try to write or print so that what you are writing is legible to all readers.
Make sure your essay reflects your original work, otherwise your test score may be canceled.
Remember, the SAT essay measures your ability to:
- Develop a personal point of view on an issue.
- Using reasoning and examples from your reading, studies, personal experience, or observations.
- Follow standard written English.
- Show how effectively you can develop and express ideas in a logical organized manner.