Your job is to write an essay explaining how the author built his argument—from start to finish. There are two skills that the SAT essay test will challenge—writing and reasoning. These skills have elements that you may want to improve.
These tips will help you focus on what the essay test wants you to do and not waste time writing things you should not include in your SAT essay. You are not asked to prove the passage right or wrong. All you are asked to do is analyze and explain how the author builds his argument. Your opinion on the topic is not important, what is important is you are able to explain the argument of the passage.
Over-thinking would waste a lot of time. Instead, develop your argumentation skills months before the test. What does this mean? They want you to analyze those ideas. How do you do this? A good Writing score means your essay was easy to read and understand and had few grammar or spelling mistakes. A great Writing score means your essay had those qualities and also used a mature voice, engaging style, and elevated vocabulary.
Remember, each of these categories is trying to tell an admissions officer something different about you.
The Reading category tells a college if you are capable of reading a passage and understanding its argument. The Analysis category is testing if you are then able to recognize the rhetorical devices used in the argument. Are you able to tell the grader what those devices are, why the author used them, and what effect they create? The Writing category shows an admissions officer that you can write college-level essays — essays that are nearly devoid of mechanical mistakes and written in an academic tone. The more competitive the school, the stronger your SAT Essay score will need to be.
Here are some numbers to get you started. However, while scoring a 6 in Reading and Writing categories only puts a student slightly above the national average, a 6 in Analysis is still in the 85th percentile of test-takers.
What does this mean for you? For those colleges who recommend or require the SAT Essay, your essay score is considered along with your other writing submissions such as your common essay application. Overall, the SAT Essay is not heavily weighted. It is only one small part of the application that the admissions officer considers. Every year, colleges drop the SAT Essay requirement altogether.
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However, if you score below average on the essay, that will definitely be a red flag to admissions officer. Not sure whether you should take the SAT Essay? Click here to read how to decide! If you do decide to take the SAT essay, it will be important to master the art and craft of writing essays that stand out. Katie Weisman is a driven, dedicated English teacher at MEK Review, who leads group test prep classes, as well as one-on-one sessions with students. Her passion for teaching, in-depth knowledge of test content, and use of our systematic approach to test preparation helps her guide students to high test scores, strong writing skills and their full potential.
March 14, However, the most importance difference you should notice is that there is no total essay score! For instance, in the above example, these scores would be reported to a prospective colleges as such: Reading: 6 Analysis: 5 Writing: 6 Why is this important? Can I opt out of sending my essay score? What if my school practices SuperScore? Then can I pick which sections? What if my school allows for Score Choice? He said that he could not finish his essay with badly needed going to the bathroom:.
So his essay was 6, 4, 8, which was very disappointing to him. I want to ask your opinion if he shall retake the SAT.
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I am bit concerned given is a pretty decent score, and retake may not improve the score, although he may get a higher essay score. Does SAT essay score really matter? Thanks for your advice! Those students had originally been exempt from an experimental.
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Your son should not repeat. His application essays and his award will reflect his skills far more accurately than the SAT. Although anything can happen, on practice SATs from prepsholar I have been scoring in the range. Do you have any suggestions as to whether I should take the risk of doing the essay or not? Harry, Few colleges require the essay. The University of California system and the United States Military Academy may stick with it for a little while longer. That said, several prominent colleges still recommend the essay, and I usually still recommend taking it. You would have to do pretty poorly to actually damage your chances of admission.
Have your tried the automated Khan Academy essay scorer? On the old SAT essay, a good writer could wing it and do well. The current essay requires a bit more thought and structure. Hi, I am an international student and I took the sat last year when I was in grade I did receive a decent composite score but my essay score was a I still thought it was ok until my teachers told me that the essay score should be improved, and now I am considering retaking the test.
Should I? Especially since I was under time attack my handwriting was even worse, and now I fear that my messy essay itself would be a great disadvantage, let alone the score. Jessica, You should not retake the SAT because of your Could it be improved? Your teachers presumably think highly of your writing skills, so you might be able to do better on a repeat testing. Will it strengthen your application? For example, if you had a and an application that read like it came from a prize-winning novelist, it might raise an eyebrow.
Should I retake to improve my essay, especially since I got a 4 in one of the sections? Maria, A 17 total is a good score for the essay. Should I retake essay portion?
SAT Essay Topics
I see where these essay tests are not required but recommended for college admissions. Do I have to send essay scores if I take essay portion? None of these schools require it. Every application keeps saying I need to enter in a score from , but the essay scores are three parts. Would you be able to help me?
Isabella, Do you have an example or two? The Common App has a single field that has you add up your three scores to get a value this is not actually what College Board intended, but it is how many colleges deal with the 3 essay domain scores. You are absolutely correct that there is no such thing as a Essay score.
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Thanks, Maddie. Maddie, Your essay score will not hinder your application. Your , of course, is well above typical.
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