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SAT Essay Tips

Is it important to take the SAT Essay?

❶The sympathy the readers feel for these forgotten doodles is expertly transferred to Lindsay herself when she draws the connection between the drawn monsters and her own life: The Passages and the Prompt The reading passages may come from academic articles, literature, essays, or speeches.

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Now, here's an example of a thesis statement for an essay responding to this prompt: The SAT essay rubric states: Including an introduction paragraph in your essay is absolutely essential to getting a Writing score above a 4 out of 8.

Plus, an introduction can be a pretty good indicator of the quality for the rest of the essay—a poorly constructed introduction is often a warning that the essay that follows will be equally discombobulated. The main reason for this is that a good introduction includes your thesis statement. There are a couple of parts of the Writing score section on the SAT essay rubric that pertain directly to style. The SAT essay rubric states this about a perfect-Writing-score essay: For most of us, "command of language" is an area that takes a long time to develop, so unless your language skills are really rough or you're prepping at least a year ahead of time or both , you'll probably get more out of focusing on the other components of the essay.

The SAT essay rubric also states: The response demonstrates a consistent use of precise word choice. The response maintains a formal style and objective tone. This basically boils down to: In addition, you should avoid using first person statements like "I" or "My" in the essay, along with any other informality. You're writing the equivalent of a school paper, not an opinion piece. Finally, try to use different words to describe the same idea—don't use "shows" 15 times.

Take the chance to show off your vocabulary if, and only if , the vocabulary is appropriate and makes sense. This component is the biggest reason why revising your SAT Essay is essential—it's fast and easy to change repeated words to other ones after you're finished, but it can slow you down during writing to worry about your word choice.

If you're aiming for a top score, using advanced vocabulary appropriately is vital. In real life, there are many ways to support a thesis, depending on the topic. But on the SAT, there's one kind of correct support: We'll show you more below. In fact, your essay will be more coherent and more likely to score higher in Analysis if you focus your discussion on just a few points. It's more important to show that you're able to pick out the most important parts of the argument and explain their function that it is to be able to identify every single persuasive device the author used.

Think about it as if you were asked to write a minute essay describing the human face and what each part does. A clear essay would just focus on major features—eyes, nose, and mouth. A less effective essay might also try to discuss cheekbones, eyebrows, eyelashes, skin pores, chin clefts, and dimples as well.

While all of these things are part of the face, it would be hard to get into detail about each of the parts in just 50 minutes. And this is the eye, and this is the other eye, and this is the Even though the SAT essay has clearly stated, publicly-available guidelines, there are a few secrets to writing the essay that most students don't know and that can give you a major advantage on the test.

A big part of the Analysis score for the SAT essay is not just identifying the devices the author uses to build her argument, but explaining the effect that the use of these devices has on the reader. Here's an example of an interpretation about what effect a persuasive device has on the reader backed by evidence from the passage:. Lindsay appeals to the emotions of her readers by describing the forlorn, many-eyed creatures that stare reproachfully at her from old school notebook margins.

The sympathy the readers feel for these forgotten doodles is expertly transferred to Lindsay herself when she draws the connection between the drawn monsters and her own life: Now, you don't necessarily know for sure if "sympathy for the doodles" is what the author was going for in her passage. Possible techniques can include:. 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? 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? Can you find examples of hyperbole, repetition, quotations, etc.? This is plenty of time for you to produce your essay, especially if you have spent the previous 10 minutes reading and planning what you will discuss.

If you get stuck, go back to your scratch paper and make any necessary changes to your template. This allows you a full 5 minutes per paragraph! Make sure you allot enough time to review what you have written and make any necessary changes. Write with these readers in mind. When it comes to preparing for timed essay tests, the best advice is to start early.

WriteShop II teaches many essential skills for timed essays in 9 th and 10 th grade. In addition, other extra-curricular activities and habits can encourage college-level vocabulary, speed writing, and persuasive arguments.

Read Part 2 here: Looking for a great roundup of resources to help high school students plan and prepare for the SAT?

Daniella Dautrich is a daydreaming writer, occasional blogger , and confirmed bibliophile. As a WriteShop alumna, she looks forward to using the WriteShop program with her own little ones. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Printable Writing Prompt Cards printable writing prompt cards start kids off with the basic elements of a story—character, character trait, setting, and plot. Interested in similar articles? Beyond the SAT 6 skills needed for timed essays on college entrance exams College prep Focus on key writing skills Students are unprepared for college-level writing.

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The purpose of the new SAT Essay is to assess your ability to analyze an author’s argument. To write a strong essay, you will need to focus on how the author uses evidence, reasoning, and other rhetorical techniques to build an argument and make it . Tips and strategies for the new SAT Essay. Our free essay writing guide will help you improve your score on the updated essay test.

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New SAT Essay Tips: Understanding the Test For many students, the SAT exam is a rite of passage on the road to college. The newest version of the test, with a redesigned essay portion, debuted in March Learn about the new SAT and get tips for preparing for the test. Learn for free about math, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more. Khan Academy is a nonprofit with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere.