An SAT essay is an optional essay that one writes when applying to a new school or college. The role of this essay is to gauge your skills in reading, analysis, and writing.
Some colleges require the student to write this essay as part of the admission process. Before you write such an essay, it is key to understand the scoring system.
To score highly, a writer must understand the prompt to give the right information regarding the topic in focus. Let us now explore, can you really get a super score in an SAT essay?
You cannot super score an SAT essay because the school does not pick the best. Suppose you took the SAT many times plus the optional essay section; the school considers the best overall essay scores from a single test. That means they will not pick from the best overall scores of every three sections: Reading, Analysis, and Writing.
For example, in case you got 5/5/7 in the first score, 6/7/6 in the second test, and 7/7/8 in the final one, the school considers 7/7/8.
This is regardless of whether the same schools superscores the rest of the sections of the test. From this example, it is not possible to take the best score from each section.
How to Write a Good SAT Essay
The college may prompt you to write an SAT essay as part of the admission process. You can use the following tips to craft a perfect SAT essay.
1. Give a Clear Thesis
Ensure that the essay gives a clear argument for the reader to understand easily.
Begin by identifying the key idea and list the method you are using to support it.
Since the SAT gives you the main idea, it prevents you from hunting it again.
The best practice is to maintain a formal style and stay objective. Avoid the use of “You “or “I.”
2. Know the Format
It is the easiest part. You will have 25 minutes to respond to a prompt like, “Are unhappy people lily to fail?” You will have to write an introductory paragraph featuring a one-sentence response to the question.
Furthermore, there will be two body paragraphs have one example in each and the conclusion paragraph.
The introduction paragraph offers an overview of what you are writing about. It also enables one to set the essay structure. For that reason, an introduction should include your thesis statement for you to build an argument.
3. Offer Unique Examples
You should support your work by providing concrete evidence. A well-written and interesting essay guarantees one the highest score. You should perform extensive research to come up with an interesting topic. Ensure that all the facts that you give are accurate.
Similarly, keep your work tidy and well-formatted since graders go through tons of essays daily. Write legibly since you might get a lower mark if the grader struggles to figure out what you communicate.
4. Use Paragraphs
Let the paragraphs be your greatest friend. The first paragraph should carry your introductory message, where you indicate the argument that you are putting across.
At the conclusion level, you can state the goal of the passage and put all the points you covered in the summary.
5. Focus on Relevant Details
It is not a must that one mentions every minute detail to make your argument effective. The essay will still score highly if you put your focus on just a few points.
Pick the most important aspects and explain their functions.
For example, suppose the essay is about writing about the human head in fifty minutes. In that case, you should focus on the eyes, mouth, nose, etc.
If you focus on minute details like dimples, eyebrows, or skin pores, it could be hard to complete the essay within the provided time frame.
6. Fill All Spaces
One blunder to avoid is focusing on quality and forget about quantity. An incomplete or short response may fail to attract a full score.
The essay should have adequate length and carry well-explained paragraphs. You should explain your points well and fill in all the provided spaces to help you stay within the expected word count.
Tips to Score a Good Grade in Your SAT Essay
1. Know the Essay Scoring System
The role of the scoring system is to expose how well you understood the passage. Some schools adopt a standardized scoring system and others use the Common App to receive their essays and organize them for grading.
The combination of the score revolves around reading, Analysis, and Writing. The essay score report offers three different scores. Each ranges from a scale of 2 to 8.
The best interpretation goes as follows. The Reading score indicates how well the essay shows that the author has an understanding of the passage.
The Analysis score shows how the author put the points to persuade the audience. Finally, the writing score shows the cohesiveness of your essay. In addition, it showcases the command of the language.
2. Study SAT Essay Prompts
You should take the time to review examples of the SAT essay prompts. The approach helps you to understand what the grader expects for you to attract a higher score. Strive to read through corresponding responses and the example passages.
Try to know why the writer used pieces of evidence, persuasive elements, or reasoning. Make your way past these samples to assist you in making your strategies on how to handle any SAT essay come the test day.
3. Emulate from Professional Writers
You can opt to read through reputable media outlets to build your analytical reading skills. One perfect example is reading from a news brand media like the Washington Post at least twice a week.
Read through these pieces to analyze editorials. It is also a perfect way of honing your skills. If you master those skills, you will have a great advantage when handling an SAT essay on your testing day.
4. Prepare with Practice Essays
When it comes to SAT essays, you can perfect your skills by practising frequently. You can get some samples and work on them within 50 minutes, as you would do on a test day promptly.
You can still compare your response with the provided examples to gauge your strengths and weaknesses.
Another objective way is working with your teacher or friend to get immediate feedback. You can work on the provided topic and get your feedback in real-time.
5. Understand the Essay Passage Well
You can end the anxiety during the test day by reading the SAT essay thoroughly. You should avoid the urge to begin writing the essay as quickly as possible. The best approach is to understand what the grader expects before beginning to write.
The worst mistake one could make is to rush the essay only to realize later that you are off the topic. Do not overlook the significance of reading and understanding the passage. It is sensible to give yourself enough time before you start writing.
6. Begin with an Outline
Before you begin to craft your content, take a moment to jot down your thoughts in a rough outline. Such helps you to map up your approach concerning the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. It helps you to write your response without gaps in the argument.
7. Start and End strong
Begin your SAT essay in a structured way. Start on a strong note by giving a good thesis statement that relates to the SAT prompt.
Let every element in the body tie back to the thesis to support it. Conclude by providing a memorable insight as per the analysis you gave.
8. Edit the Essay
You should create time to edit your work. Doing so lets you know misinterpreted information that requires restructuring to agree with what you wanted to put across. Maximize every minute to give your best shot.
Joseph is a freelance journalist and a part-time writer with a particular interest in the gig economy. He writes about schooling, college life, and changing trends in education. When not writing, Joseph is hiking or playing chess.