How to Write a Great SAT Essay
The writing section is possibly the most challenging part of the SAT. You studied enough, so you are confident that you can provide correct answers on all other questions. However, the essay puts you in a totally unknown environment. Will you be calm enough to form a solid thesis? Will you have enough time to write and edit? What will the question be?
Guess what: everything is easier when you prepare well. The following 5 tips will get you ready to master the SAT essay.
1. Think about the length. It matters!
Some students think that writing more is same as writing better. It’s not! You don’t get an extra sheet of paper, so make sure to fit your essay within the space you get. Do not use fillers and unnecessary sentences; they only dilute your main arguments. Write a strong and clear essay that the examiner will remember after going through tons of other answers.
2. Keep it clean!
Handwriting is more important than you think. Unfortunately, students are getting too used to the spell-check feature, so they make tons of mistakes when they write on paper. Practice! Write correctly and legibly; that’s the only way to deserve good points on the SAT.
3. Back up your claims with examples!
When you’re writing the SAT essay, you don’t have the opportunity to research the library/Internet and offer academic and scientific data to support your claims. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make the arguments believable. You can achieve that effect by writing specific examples. You can draw them from the news, practical situations, or your own life. Make sure they are relevant to the thesis statement.
4. Pay attention to the structure!
You probably know how an essay pattern looks like: you have an introduction that includes a thesis statement, three paragraphs with arguments that support that statement, and a summarizing conclusion. It’s strange how students manage to get out of this structure when they know it so well. You might think that writing according to the flow of your thoughts is the right thing to do, but inspiration won’t take you anywhere if you don’t put it into a proper academic structure.
Write clean paragraphs with nice transitions. You can never go wrong with the basic 5-paragraph form; everything else is a huge risk.
5. Use big words strategically
It doesn’t matter what most guides say… big words make you look smarter, period. This doesn’t mean you should express yourself in a language no one understands. Don’t try to infuse Latin terms or the ‘word of the day’ in your SAT essay. However, you can spice everything up with some strategically positioned smart words. Do not misuse terms just because they seem cool; work on your vocabulary before taking the exam and make everything sound natural.
Did you start getting ready for the SAT exam? It’s never too early to study and practice. When it comes to essay writing skills, one thing is certain: you cannot obtain them overnight. Follow the above-listed tips and practice as much as possible. When it’s time for the actual exam, you’ll be ready to face the challenge.