Although in the past, students who were taking the SATs were not required to write essays, recently, the College Board added a twenty-five minute essay writing section to the standardized college acceptance test.
For many students, it may seem a bit overwhelming to imagine writing a cohesive essay in twenty-five minutes, but it is absolutely feasible. Keeping the following guidelines in mind, students will find that writing an exceptional essay is less problematic than they first imagined.
So, if you want to ace the essay portion of your SATs, remember the following five tips:
1. Take a stance on the question: Arguments can seem wishy-washy if they are not concrete. Even if you do not agree with whatever statement is being made in the question, make sure to decide what point of view you will write from before you begin your essay. Once you’ve decided which point of view to argue, it will facilitate your development of a clear and concise a thesis statement on which to base the rest of your essay.
2. Outline: Yes, you are only given a total of twenty-five minutes to write, so take the first two or three minutes to quickly outline your essay after you’ve come up with a thesis statement. Do not spend a lot of time on this, just jot down a couple of the most important points you want to make clear in the body of your essay.
3. Explain: Once you’ve made a claim, be sure you can explain your position by backing it up with reasonable and appropriate examples within the scope of the question. Explain the significance of quotations or other examples and be sure to use suitable transitions between ideas or concepts.
4. Give insight: The arguably most important function of the SAT essay is to give the reader a sense of who you are, not only as an educated and capable writer, but as an individual. This will be the only way to distinguish your piece of writing from the rest of your peers. Remember to conclude with a suitable inference or reflection that logically flows from the argument.
5. Proofread and edit: Use the remainder of your time to proofread your essay and make the necessary editorial changes. Be sure to check for spelling and grammar. For the most points, be sure that your paragraphs have topic sentences and that you have used appropriate transitions to shift from one idea to the next.
Writing an essay in a limited amount of time can place a lot of pressure on already nervous students, so remembering the above five tips and preparing for your essay beforehand will hopefully help you achieve your desired results. Good luck!