Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The SAT essay

Students who will be taking the SAT this year (and on into the future) will need to write an essay in addition to the objective questions (you know, multiple guess choice?). Before writing such an essay, it's quite helpful to know how such a thing is graded. A friend of mine found a good explanation online:

How the SAT Essay is Scored

So ... what should you learn from this?

1. Read the directions carefully and make sure you understand exactly what you're being asked to write about.

2. Plan well and quickly. Make a quick outline that will produce a 4- or 5-paragraph paper. Don't skip this step! Lack of planning will result in a rambling essay ... and a low score.

3. Write a careful rough draft, staying with the outline. Don't go off topic now!

4. When the rough draft is done, read over it and make any corrections needed -- not major revisions, but mechanical errors, such as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. If you need to change a word or three, draw one horizontal line through it/them and write the correction just above it.

5. Stay on topic. Off-topic papers are given zeroes! That's right, zeroes -- no matter how well written the paper is. Off-topic = 0.

Here is another site that will help with preparation -- for all the sections, including writing:
SAT Preparation at CollegeBoard.com

Take advantage!