SAT Essay Tips to Get the Highest Score

SAT is a test of scholastic ability for applicants wishing to obtain a bachelor’s degree in the USA, Canada, and some other countries. This is a standard system that shows the student’s readiness for academic tasks. Typically, this test includes several parts: a mathematical section, an analysis of the reading, and a written assignment. Writing an SAT essay may seem like a challenge. And it is true. You will need some of our SAT essay tips to prepare for the test.

SAT Timing Tips

The first thing you need to do is to understand all the nuances of the test. Knowing the timing rules, you will successfully complete the test. You can even write some preparatory essays by checking how long it takes.

The length of the SAT essay, in most cases, varies from 650 to 750 words. First, you must read the text and provide an analytical overview. Do not waste time formulating personal opinions or upholding one of the positions. You must correctly analyze the work of the author, show his or her arguments, reveal their persuasiveness. This means that in the process of reading, you need to pay attention to facts and examples.

SAT Essay Structure

Like other essays, the SAT essay consists of 5 paragraphs. They are already familiar to American students, but this does not mean that you should underestimate these tips about the structure:

  • Introduction. This is the first part of the essay, your opportunity to impress the grader. Do not be fussy and immediately outline the thesis statement that defines the work of the author.
  • Thesis statement. Your next task is to provide a specific argument to the author. Also, describe the persuasion methods used. Remember that you should not express your opinion, try to refute the author’s arguments. This approach guarantees a bad rating, so do not use it.
  • Analytical paragraph. Give some examples that support the thesis of the statement. At this point, you do not need to rephrase the author. Just explain why you agree or disagree with each of the points.
  • Explanation Paragraph. Before you finish your essay, highlight a paragraph to explain the choice of a specific technique. Different authors use different techniques. It can be comparisons or metaphors, allegories, a vibrant language, various additional studies.
  • Conclusion It is important to remember that you should not give any new arguments, ideas, or examples. Reformulate the thesis and summarize your essay again. Make the final sentence strong and convincing. You can even use a call to action.

In preparation for writing an SAT essay, you can read successful examples of other works. They will help you understand the correct structure, get used to it. It will also be a good idea to write some test essays so that this format does not cause you any difficulties.

Explanation of SAT Score Rules 

Many students have difficulty interpreting SAT scores. This is due to sections that are too complex. Of course, you can use the SAT essay calculator, but it is not always able to clarify the situation. Therefore, we have prepared a short guide and SAT essay tips for you.

The first thing you need to know is that there is no passing grade as such. The score results consist of 3 amounts in the range of 2-8. Your minimum total score can be 400, and the maximum 1600. There are two sections: for reading and writing, providing evidence, as well as a mathematical section. Each of these sections will be rated from 200 to 800 points. In fact, when you write an essay, you should understand that its assessment will come from 3 aspects: reading, analysis, and writing.

Which points are optimal? The average is 1050 points. If you pass this test for 1400 points, you will be in about 5% of all-American students. Very few students gain 1,500 points, but such an indicator is still considered possible. Do not rush to despair if you think that your score will not be high enough. Each college has its own requirements, so you can achieve your goal even with a low average score and high SAT score.

Also, remember that the SAT test is not always required. Many American colleges have very different requirements. But in any case, you should prepare using our SAT essay tips. They help to develop analytical skills that are definitely useful while studying.

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12 Outstanding SAT Essay Tips

Our best experts, who have passed the SAT test and got good results, have prepared tips for you on the SAT essay. All of them are time-tested and useful:

  1. Read the hints before proceeding. Take your time; you need enough time to understand this subject.
  2. Identify several methods of persuasion and remember them. You must understand what kind of literary techniques the author uses to convince his readers.
  3. Keep your focus on the details. Many authors have key points that are important in supporting arguments. You need to find them when reading.
  4. Prepare a plan before writing. You must have a short plan for each of the five paragraphs, as well as a general plan for your SAT essay.
  5. Do not use personal opinion. Graders expect you to prepare an analysis, explain how the author uses the argument, and not how he or she explains his argument. This tip is important for a good grade.
  6. Do not rephrase the author’s words. If necessary, quote the author, you can use direct quotation marks. But your essay should be an analytical paper, not a resume.
  7. Identify a compelling technique. Most likely, the author will convince his readers of some ideas. You need to understand what kind of technique he or she is using for this. You can give a few examples in your essay.
  8. Avoid slang terms and colloquial vocabulary. Your language should be academic, understandable to the main audience.
  9. Identify the reasons and evidence. Analyze how the author made complex things obvious.
  10. Do not repeat sentences that have already been written. If you want to focus on some information, it is better to conduct a deeper analysis than to repeat the phrase several times.
  11. Use literary tricks. Show your writing skills with metaphors, comparisons, analytic strategies, and emotions.
  12. Already at the first reading of the article, try to determine the author’s style. An author can use an argumentative or analytical style. Some texts are comparative, while others are reflective. There are many options. If you understand the style immediately, it will facilitate your further work.

If you want to write a good SAT essay, you have to practice. For example, analyze different articles. Also, pay enough attention to punctuation and grammar. Remember that you should not just effectively and interestingly start an essay. It is very important to convincingly finish it. Use the assumption of possible changes, convincing calls to action. You have to show the graders that you have understood the text well and analyzed all its aspects.

SAT Essay Frequently Asked Questions

Who is developing the SAT?

This test is the responsibility of the Educational Testing Service. It is paid by another private company, the College Board.

Is the SAT test obligatory?

Actually, SAT essay writing and other sections are optional. You should familiarize yourself with the requirements of different schools in order to understand whether you should write this essay. If only one of 10 schools have such a requirement, you can reject this idea. But we still advise you to write an SAT essay, as it will demonstrate your analytical and written skills.

What is the average SAT score?

Today, if we combine all the passed sections of the test, we can calculate that the average score is approximately 1050. It is important to understand that this does not mean at all that the student is experienced in a certain field. It just shows the level of development of basic skills.

How to understand SAT essay instructions? 

You should understand that each task of the SAT test contains a large number of tips for students. This means that you must carefully read the assignment and understand all the requirements.