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What Makes the SAT Essay Unique and How Can SAT Courses Help You Prepare

By APlus on 8 November 19 Blog

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In 2016 the SAT was revised and changes were made to the essay component.  Here are a few key details about what the essay assignment is now:

  • Test-takers are given 50 minutes to write 650-750 words
  • The essay is a response to a text on a general topic. No specialized knowledge is required.
  • The test-taker must analyze and explain the argument of the given text.
  • The essay is optional, recommended or required depending on the school.

While some colleges have eliminated the essay in their official application requirements, many elite institutions still consider it. Harvard, Princeton and Yale continue to require the essay, while it is recommended for Columbia, Cornell and Brown. So, make sure you check directly with the college you want to apply to for up to date application requirements.

To Write or Not to Write? SAT Prep Courses Are the Answer

Even if the essay is optional for you, there are many reasons to write it. The essay gives you the opportunity to show off more of your skills. You may not plan to enrol in English courses, for example, but you will still find the English skills needed to score high on the SAT essay are necessary for success in almost any college program.

Similar to the other sections of the SAT you must prepare for the SAT essay

Similar to the other sections of the SAT you must prepare for the SAT essay

Students who familiarize themselves with SAT essays set themselves up for success. SAT prep courses support you by building vocabulary, teaching strategies for critical reading and providing time management strategies. All of these skills are necessary for you to do well on the SAT essay and in college.

The SAT Essay Is Scored by Two Readers in Three Categories

Each reader will assign the essay a score from 1 to 4 in the following categories.

  • Reading Score: How well does the response show that the student understands the given text?
  • Analysis Score: How well did the student analyze the text and explain the author’s argument?
  • Writing Score: Is there a logical progression of ideas and a clear thesis?

The trick to scoring high in all of the categories is simple: practice. With SAT courses you’ll learn how to practice the right way. Familiarity with the type of prompt the SAT provides and the structure of the assignment will let you use your time more efficiently on test day.

The SAT Essay Assignment Is Specific

The SAT essay is another way for colleges to evaluate prospective students. Particularly, it will give admissions personnel insight into how a student reads, analyzes and, of course, writes. When you can demonstrate the capacity to identify and understand reasoning, rhetoric and evidence, it will support your college application. The SAT essay is designed specifically to provide a space to showcase these skills.

Choosing to write the essay will give you more opportunities to impress

Choosing to write the essay will give you more opportunities to impress

In the given text an author will make a claim and an argument about a topic directed at a general audience. The goals of the test and time constraints mean that you need to stick to the material of the given text and scoring rubric. Deviation from the topic will only waste time and points. With SAT classes you can learn skills to help you write essays that showcase your ability to identify and understand reasoning, rhetoric and evidence while sticking to the time limit.

Interested in SAT classes?                                          

Find out how ASC A+’s SAT Evening Preparation Classes can help!

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