SAT Essay component is probably one of the easiest sections where the student can perfect his/her scores. According to the SAT rubrics, ETS expects the student to present a holistic approach to the given prompt. An overall impression of an essay matters more than minor mistakes (grammatical or logical). Some pro-activeness and little conscious efforts make all the difference.
From a Trainer’s perspective:
- Handwriting & Indenting do matter. Writing with a pencil makes it even worse. If the writing isn’t legible the examiner might not go into the details, just skim through your Essay, and give average grades. He/she has stacks of essays to check each day and unfortunately, you are just a Roll No. for him/her. Make proper indented paragraphs. This helps your paper look good!
- Size does make a difference. There is no word-limit, rather just a time-limit. A student is expected to write a persuasive and effective essay in the given time-frame. It is important to have a logical flow and coherence of ideas with suitable examples. To bolster the reason, elaboration and examples are essential ingredients. So, need to write a presentable length so that the reader gets a fair chance to understand student’s point of view.
- Vocabulary & Lexical Resource can’t be ignored completely. A few selective grandiloquent and esoteric words used sporadically in the essay do appeal to the examiner. Some degree of adoration in language proficiency of the student trickles down and makes the essay quite oratorical.
From an Examiner’s perspective:
- Address the topic proficiently. This is the most important thing to do as it helps him/her assess if the student has understood the Prompt. This is the first point in the rubric too. The examiner follows the rubrics stringently because there are two graders of the same essay. Any discrepancy may lead to cancellation of his registration as an Essay Grader.
- Choose examples carefully.Planning always pays. At no point an essay should divulge the personal information of the candidate. Examples can be personalised according to global acceptance of idea but not be too personal. Examples are not fillers, rather they are important to make an essay convincing. A tinge of truthfulness in examples definitely helps.
- Know the rubrics. This helps in channelizing the ideas in a more efficient manner. Helps a student identify his/her strengths and improve on the weaknesses. Follow the link below to see the SAT Essay rubrics:
The penultimate point is that SAT exam starts with a 25 minute Writing section where only one essay prompt is given. The student has to attempt that as there is no alternative prompt. But one is free to have one’s point of view. So, rather than thinking over what is more correct according to others; one must concentrate over what point of view one has more cogent reasons to talk on. Believe your instincts while planning the outline; you will take less time in reaching your reasons. And finally, Do Not Forget to Revise.