The Essay
Anatomy of the SAT Essay
Yes, it’s true: the SAT now has an essay. It’s part of the Writing section, and you’ll have 25 minutes to complete it.
Before we get into the concepts and strategies you’ll use to tackle the essay, let’s lay out the terrain. In this section, we provide you with an X- ray of the SAT essay by answering the following questions:
  • What does the essay look like?
  • What skills does the essay test?
  • Who creates the essay prompts?
  • Who scores the essay?
  • How is the essay scored?
  • The bigger picture: how does the essay figure into the entire SAT score?
Answering these questions will not only demystify the SAT but will also put you in a good position to prepare yourself for writing a winning essay.
You may be asking yourself, “Why do I need to know so much about the essay score? I’m writing the essay, not scoring it.” Well, understanding how to score the SAT essay will actually help you to write a better essay. By studying the scoring process in detail, you’ll understand exactly what your writing should include and what you should avoid. Most important, you’ll gain an understanding of how The College Board defines good writing, which is not necessarily how you, your teachers, or your parents may define it.
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