SAT Essay Writing: Step-By-Step Guide

SAT Essay Writing: Step-By-Step Guide

What is a SAT essay

For many students, the SAT exam is a major challenge on the way to college. A SAT essay is a written task you are given at the exam and you have to do it in 50 minutes. Your essay will be assessed under the 4-point scale according to 3 parameters: reading, analysis, text writing.

You should know that there are four stages of the SAT essay:

  1. Reading that should take no longer than 10 minutes
  2. Analyzing process that should last about 10 minutes
  3. Writing stage that will take you about half an hour
  4. Review for which you can spend a couple of minutes.

However, this is only approximately, because different people have different skills and they can cope of some stages faster than that. When you practice before your exam you will understand how much time you will need for every stage.

If you want to go to the college of your dream you have to treat this essay writing seriously. A SAT essay must meet the following requirements:

  • No grammatical mistakes;
  • Presence of different syntactic structures;
  • Well chosen language;
  • Clear expression of the main idea;
  • Consistent development of reasoning.

Stages of SAT essay writing

Reading stage

There are several reading strategies you can use to read the SAT text. The most important you don’t miss details and keep the time limit. If you read fast you can let yourself read the text several times. If you are a slow reader it is better to read it once but carefully. 

Analysis and planning stage

Try not to avoid such important stage as planning. You may think it will take the time you don’t have, but actually it will help you greatly organize the process and structure your essay.

You don’t have to actually write everything down. You can make marks in the text you work with, underline and circle the parts you think are important.

Writing stage

If you have drawn a plan and formulated your idea about the text, it is time to start expressing your opinion in the paper. Stick to your plan, look through the notes you did – they will help you go in the right direction and not lose time.

Your essay should have introduction, main part and conclusion. You may begin with the main part, presenting all the formation you have, proving your point of you, and then proceed to intro part and conclusion.

Review stage

You will only have a couple of minutes to make the last look at your essay and correct possible mistakes. If you need to replace the word or delete it completely, just cross it out.

Basic tips for a SAT essay

SAT essay inquires certain skills from students. The skills can be developed if you practice at least a little bit. Below you will find useful tips to become good at SAT writing:

1. Study the examples. The material on Sat can be found on their website and in internet in general. After reading several articles, read the given answers carefully, focusing on the most successful examples and finding features you could use for your essay.

2. Understand the author’s opinion. Before writing your essay, make sure that you understand the piece of text you read and the author’s arguments. Highlight key transition words and effective phrases, important words and other anchor points that you think could be useful.

Try to realize what the author of the text was really trying to render, evidences of their statement, logic in their presentation, completeness of the information.  

3. Take your time. Make sure that you answer the questions set in your theme and do not go into the wrong direction. Give yourself a few minutes to draw quick plan of your work and writing you’re your own opinion will be very beneficial for you.

4. Be concise, but look deep. Do not forget that examiners like long fundamental essays, so try to use all the papers you are given for this task. If you developed a good plan, then you have something to say, avoiding repetitions. If you have a large handwriting, practice writing with smaller letters. You have to use all the papers as productive as possible.

5. Reveal your own talent. To develop an essay worthy of a high mark, do not forget to use a few of your own literary peculiarities: clever words, techniques, quotes that you remembered during preparation for the test. When applied rationally, these tools can play in your favor during the exam.

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