In , the main SAT was overhauled again. The maximum score reverted to , and the minute essay section was made separate and optional. In the high school Class of , about 1. Seventy percent — 1. A little more than half of the 2 million ACT takers in the Class of used the option. The writing section adds 40 minutes to the main ACT. Princeton and Stanford drop requirements for essay testing. Princeton University in New Jersey. Mark Makela for The Washington Post.
Reporter covering higher education, national education policy and the global education market. 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.
The SAT essay graders probably don't know either unless one of them wrote the passage. But as long as you can make a solid case for your interpretation, using facts and quotes from the passage to back it up , you'll be good. Overall, this response demonstrates inadequate writing.
Being able to stay detached while reading the passage you'll be writing the essay about can be tricky. This task might be especially difficult for students who were used to the old SAT essay which pretty much made it mandatory for you to choose one side or the other. A good way to practice this is to read news articles on topics you care deeply about by people who hold the opposite view that you do.
I would then work on my objectivity by jotting down the central ideas, most important details, and how these details relate to the central ideas of the article. Being able to understand the central ideas in the passage and details without being sidetracked by rage or other emotions is key to writing an effective SAT essay. Don't let the monster of rage distract you from your purpose. To do this successfully, you'll need to be aware of some of the techniques that are frequently used to build arguments.
However, it's way easier to go into the essay knowing certain techniques that you can then scan the passage for. For instance, after noting the central ideas and important details in the article about how more works of art should feature monsters, I would then work on analyzing the way the author built her argument.
Does she use statistics in the article? When you write an SAT essay, you only have 50 minutes to read, analyze, and write an essay, which means that you need a game plan going in. Here's a short step-by-step guide on how to write an effective SAT essay. College Board makes a point of specifying this very point in its grading rubric as well—an essay that scores a 2 out of 4 or below in Analysis " merely asserts, rather than explains [the persuasive devices'] importance.
The best way to get a high Reading score for your essay is to quote from the passage appropriately to support your points. If you are explaining the author's argument in your own words, however, you need to be extra careful to make sure that the facts you're stating are accurate —in contrast to scoring on the old SAT essay, scoring on the new SAT essay takes into account factual inaccuracies and penalizes you for them.
The main point to take away from this is that you should follow the standard structure for an SAT essay introduction-body-body-conclusion. Using a basic four- to five-paragraph essay structure will both keep you organized and make it easier for the essay graders to follow your reasoning—a win-win situation!
Furthermore, you should connect each paragraph to each other through effective transitions. We'll give you ways to improve your performance in this area in the articles linked at the end of this article. For a breakdown of how much time to spend on each of these steps, be sure to check out our article on how to write an SAT essay, step-by-step.
It's especially important to practice the analysis and writing components of the essay if you are a slow reader since reading speed can be difficult to change. Being able to analyze and write quickly can help balance out the extra time you take to read and comprehend the material. Plus, the time you put into working on analysis and writing will yield greater rewards than time spent trying to increase your reading speed. This is just the beginning of improving your SAT essay score.
Next, you actually need to put this into practice with a real SAT essay. Looking to get even deeper into the essay prompt? You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:.
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How the SAT Essay Is Scored. Responses to the optional SAT Essay are scored using a carefully designed process. Two different people will read and score your essay. Each scorer awards 1–4 points for each dimension: reading, analysis, and writing. The two scores for each dimension are added.
The University of California system continues to require the SAT Essay and the ACT Writing of all applicants. Claremont McKenna does as well. Wellesley rather inexplicably requires the ACT essay but not the SAT essay. Meanwhile, Brown, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale have recently dropped the essay requirement.
Take a look at the SAT Essay rubric, or guidelines, scorers use to evaluate every essay. Who Should Take the SAT with Essay. You don’t have to take the SAT with Essay, but if you do, you’ll be able to apply to schools that require it. Find out which schools require or recommend the SAT Essay. The essay is scored by readers who score the essay in terms of exactly what the SAT is looking for. So what are the criteria that readers so rigidly follow? About the SAT®.
To reiterate, colleges that require the SAT Essay won't consider your score if you took the SAT without the Essay. The last thing you want to do is take the SAT without the Essay and get a good score—but then find out that one of your target schools requires you to take the SAT with Essay. And the last five tips for SAT essay writing show you how to build an SAT essay, step by step. What the College Board Does Tell You: 5 Tips The College Board explains the main components of the successful SAT Essay in its scoring criteria.