Sat essay practice tips
Before you start writing your essay, make sure that you have a rough outline of the five paragraphs—introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
This will ensure you always know what you need to write next, so you can be sure you make appropriate points and include appropriate transitions. An unfortunate reality of the SAT Essay grading process is that the people who will be reading your essay will have only two or three minutes to look at and score your essay. This means that they have to rely on relatively superficial criteria to come up with a score, one of which is the length.
Studies have shown that students who fill up three to four pages of their exam book score the most points. Sloppy handwriting is a big pet peeve of the graders, and you will lose points if they struggle to read what you wrote. All of the passages are taken from published materials—excerpts from newspapers, magazines or books—they are always well-written, and the arguments defended well. You simply need to identify three different rhetorical tools the author uses in support of the main idea and provide examples of each tool.
This analysis is best done by reading the passage and circling or underlining, and then noting, rhetorical tools authoritative sources or data being two examples. Then, devote one body paragraph to each. Your thesis can always be that the author does a sufficient job at defending his or her argument. Using a couple of elevated vocabulary words per paragraph will get you a higher score.
Your English teacher has probably wisely told you to only use advanced vocabulary words where necessary, in order to effectively and accurately convey a point. Due to the factors that are used to judge your essay are so superficial, one way to guarantee a higher score is by using a few recognizable advanced vocabulary words per paragraph.
When the grader sees you have used an advanced word, he or she will give you credit for your vocabulary as a part of your grade. Your essay must be five paragraphs, even if your conclusion paragraph is only one sentence. Graders will want to see five paragraphs—introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion—in your essay.
Everything You Need to Know to Conquer the SAT Essay - College Covered
As with the previous SAT essay, you will have a page of scratch paper to plan your essay before you write it, and you will handwrite your essay in the lined pages of your answer booklet. Remember your handwriting must be legible — either print or cursive is fine — but make sure to use every line and avoid wide margins.
Here are some additional facts about the new SAT essay:. Your final SAT essay scores would be:. The range of scores within each category is minimum is two scores of 1 in each category, maximum is two scores of 4 in each category. Read through the rest of our SAT Essay tips to learn how you can maximize your score.
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This prompt is exactly the same for both official sample essays, and will likely be the exact same on your SAT essay. Next comes the actual text of the passage. At the end of the passage, you will see instructions in the following format:. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.
Notice how the instructions here align closely with the SAT essay rubric.
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In order to effectively write the SAT essay, plan to write 5-paragraphs. Possible techniques can include:.
Before You Start Writing an SAT Essay...
In each body paragraph, name the rhetorical device or method you will be analyzing. Identify where it is used in the passage and how the author uses it, and then describe the impact it has on the argument. Take notes to help you summarize the key points. What is the overall main point the author is making?
8 Tips for Earning a High Score on the SAT Essay
What is the function of each paragraph? How does each paragraph build on the overall idea? What rhetorical devices is the author using? How is the author making the argument? Once you have fully understood the passage, use your scratch paper to plan out your 5-paragraph essay. How do you want to categorize the argument overall?