How to Write an SAT Essay

Before you begin writing your SAT essay, it’s important to read through the paragraphs you will be covering. As you go over the passage, pick out the arguments and the main points. These are what you will cover in your actual essay. Here are a few tips to help improve your SAT essay score:

  1. Read carefully and take notes. The passage is the most important part of the essay. If you don’t read it carefully, you will lose points and get a lower score. It’s a good idea to mark the parts you feel are important. You can learn to recognize which sentences refer to arguments by the author.
  2. Keep your opinions to yourself. The point of the essay is to see what you understand and how you analyze it . . . not how you feel about the subject. Try to keep your own feelings and stance about the topic out of the essay and focus on being objective.
  3. Show and explain. Each example argument should be first told to the reader and then explained. When did the author use the argument? Why was it effective. Take the time to really dig into the hows and whys to get a better score. This is something that can become easier with practice.
  4. Write as much as possible. You have 50 minutes to complete everything on the essay, so make that time count. You will get extra points for writing more. Fill up the pages, but use strong arguments, rather than filler. Writing fluff will fill space, but won’t win you any prizes. Never skip lines, either, since this looks like you’re trying to stretch the words.
  5. Plan before you write. The SAT essay is not the simplest essay to write and it requires some serious thought. Plot out your essay before you start writing, to ensure you have the most important arguments laid out and plenty of examples to use in the text.

 Remember that the SAT essay is designed to test your comprehension of complex arguments and evidence. If you can pick out the most important parts of the passage to analyze in the essay, you should end up with a great grade on the test. The more you write, the higher your score, as long as you can prove that you understood the information presented and can interpret it for others to read.

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