Basics of the SAT Essay
1. You are only given 25 minutes to complete the essay. But trust me …when you take the real test, it’s not going to feel like a whole 25minutes. Make sure you give yourself less time when practicing (16-18minutes), so you can build up mental and physical stamina.
2. Be aware of the psychological effect of section 1. The essay willalways be the first section of the SAT. If you mess it up for whateverreason, it’s going to haunt you for the rest of the test. But if younail it, you will gain the confidence to continue to the rest of thesections.
3. Essays are scored by two graders. Each grades on a scale of 1-6 (fora total of 12). Remember, though, that each grader has only a minute orso to read and grade your essay. That is why highlighting certainsections of your essay might do the trick to help you succeed.
4. Many academies say it is OK to use “I” but again … I say no.Although “I” is acceptable to express your personal point(s) of view,it weakens your thesis. If you begin with “I believe,” you arepresenting your personal, fundamentally biased opinion – therefore,avoid using “I” if possible.
5. Do not veer off topic! Answer the question. If you don’t, you willreceive a grade of zero. Believe me … I have seen it happen.
6. Your essay equals 1/3 of your writing score: +/- 250. So, it is crucial that you do well!