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The Twenty-Minute Essay
Please Note:
The last administration of the SAT II Writing was on 1/22/05. Beginning 3/12/05, parts of the SAT II Writing test will be included in the New SAT. You should be studying the New SAT book. Go there!
The Twenty-Minute Essay
Twenty minutes is a ridiculously short amount of time in which to write an essay. In fact, we’ll go on record as saying that it is impossible to write a great essay in twenty minutes. ETS knows this. They made the time allowed for essay writing so brief because they know this. They are creating a test that tests your ability to write, but they don’t want to spend all the money it would take to hire graders to analyze and grade five-page essays. Never forget that while this essay portion of the SAT II Writing requires an essay, the essay it requires is designed by people who normally write formulaic multiple-choice questions. It should not come as any surprise that these people want the essays to be as formulaic as possible. So don’t get cutesy with your essay; don’t get super-creative; don’t fly into flights of fancy. They want a solid essay written in a precise and particular way. Give it to them.
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