When the SAT was revamped in 2016, the SAT Essay underwent significant changes. Many colleges still require students to submit an SAT Essay score, however, so this change is not as major as those that occurred to the essay’s structure and purpose.
The old SAT essay consisted of a question for debate, and students were to present a clear argument for one side.
What I’m about to say probably won’t make me popular with many high school math teachers, but here it is.
Some of the stuff that you’ll prep for in the math SAT section, you might never have to learn or use again.
I know you’re probably thinking of the SAT essay as a necessary evil—an optional evil, no less.
But much of what you’ll learn here isn’t a means to a quick end, but something that you will be using for the rest of your life.When students are in a time crunch, they tend to make simple grammatical errors that could lower their score.If you can, make sure you go back and read through your essay to correct for any such errors.When it comes to the SAT essay, the College Board is very helpful—they always use exactly the same format for the SAT essay, give you exactly the same directions, and ask you to include exactly the same kind of information in your essay.Because this never changes, you’ll know the directions ahead of time and save yourself time on the test.For example, give yourself five minutes to brainstorm for main points (which will become topic sentences), one minute to come up with a great introduction, two minutes to organize your examples into paragraphs, etc. That means you will have to make specific statements about your position and expound upon your individual points. As you write your essay, imagine that you are talking to your favorite high school teacher. Start with a fabulous or surprising introductory sentence to make a great first impression. First sentence: No matter where you live, the longest period of any school day is the last one. Vary your sentences to show that you have a command of sentence structure. Neatness counts to some degree, in that the reader must be able to read what you’ve written. Don’t get hung up if you don’t actually have strong feelings one way or the other on a subject.Examples: Issue: Should cell phones be banned from school property? Note: You would follow up on this with well-crafted, fact-filled statements. Use complex sentences sometimes, mid-sized sentences sometimes, and two-word sentences a few times to make your writing more interesting. If your writing is notoriously difficult to read, you should print your essay. You can still cross out mistakes that you catch as you proofread your work.Also--don’t keep repeating the same point by rewording it several ways. As soon as you begin, make a note of the time and give yourself benchmarks and limits. Your task is to show that you can craft a complex argument essay. If you try to change your question, even slightly, you are taking a risk that the reader will not like your answer. As a matter of fact, the reader is a trained educator—and most likely a high school teacher. You will have twenty-five minutes to write your essay. Readers judge essays on the depth and complexity of the argument you make (and you will be taking a side), so be sure to show that you understand both sides of the issue you’re writing about. You don’t have to feel guilty about saying things you don’t really believe. It may be tempting to change the question to something that is more to your liking. Readers are instructed to assign a zero score to an essay that doesn’t answer the question provided. Remember that the person scoring your essay is a person and not a machine.