By the time that you read this blog, I will have evaluated over 1500 SAT essays. I personally evaluated 2-3% of all the October essays. I am a fast and, I wish, a more accurate grader. I am paid per hour according to accuracy and productivity. So you should listen to me! My advice is not based on online wisdom or hypothetical anecdotes – I do the real thing!

I work for Pearsons/CollegeBoard and evaluate SAT essays for them. English teachers with attitude all over America are grabbing a cup of tea and trying their best to evaluate what is, by all estimations, a very subjective assignment.

The SAT and ACT, college admission tests, are approximately three hours long—three hours and fifty minutes if you write the optional essay. The essay portion is given at the beginning of the test. The score is factored into the writing section.

The SAT and the ACT essay are critical components of the college admission portfolio and students ignore them at their own risk.

For one thing, it is no small comfort to admission officers to see that students can actually write and, at the same time, SAT/ACT essays allow students to showcase their writing skills.

At the same time, many colleges purchase SAT/ACT essays as an addendum to the anxiety ridden college application essay. In other words, not trusting students to submit an honest, clean appraisal of their writing abilities in 650 words, colleges revert to using the spontaneous SAT/ACT essay. After all, colleges can be certain that no one assisted students in these creations!
Therefore, the SAT/ACT essay is critical. Students, you simply must take it.

Each SAT Essay consists of one passage between 650 and 750 words that you will read and then respond to. You will have 50 minutes to complete the SAT Essay.

The purpose of the new SAT Essay is to assess your ability to analyze an author’s argument. It is not merely a paraphrase of his/her 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 convincing. Three components are evaluated: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. A perfect score is 4 plus 4 plus 4, or 12 times 2 (since there are two different graders), or 24 total.

The essay task will be the same in every test. What will change is the reading selection you’ll be asked to analyze. If you are familiar with the Essay prompt ahead of time – and understand exactly what your task is – you will save time on Test Day and write a stronger essay.

If you are interested in talking more about the SAT/ACT essay join me for an online webinar/discussion @ 1PM EST, Tuesday, November 28, 2017, e-mail for an invitation. During this webinar I will give you more specific writing strategies and I will be available to answer any of your other questions.

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