Acing the SAT Essay Test Even If You're a Bad Writer: A Step by Step Guide Part I

by John Liu - Date: 2007-01-23 - Word Count: 511 Share This!

As if the multiple choice questions weren't enough, the New SAT requires test takers to provide a sample of their writing in the form of an essay. You might think to yourself: "I'm a horrible writer. How the heck will I be able to get through this portion of the test?"

Don't worry. Even if you consider yourself to be a "horrible writer," the SAT essay portion is the easiest portion of the test that a test taker can "train" for. The SAT essay counts for one third of your Writing section score and it should be the easiest section to do well on.

Format: You have twenty five minutes. Therefore you should aim to write a 5 paragraph essay with an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion. Five minutes a paragraph? Think that's impossible? Read on to find out.

Introduction The essay prompt will usually have a question with two sides to it. Your job is to pick a side and explain why you chose it.

Sample Prompt: Do you think the government has too much power or do you think the government has to little power?

So now its up to you to pick which side you want to support. It doesn't matter if you don't agree with the side you decide to write about. You should pick the side that you know about the most. If you can think of many examples on why the government has too much power, then go ahead and write about that.

After deciding what side to support you will then have to pick examples to support your side. Three good examples or two great ones is usually the right amount. Avoid just doing one. Most importantly avoid hypothetical examples. Make sure your example are from movies, books, or recent events.

Make sure you have at least one or two examples from books, movies, and recent events. That way you have space for the easiest example: the personal example. The personal example allows you to use events from your life to support the side you picked. Maybe your dad is a teacher and he feels the government has too much power in determining how science should be taught in schools. Write about that. Your dad not a scientist? Hmm, but how would the college board know if you said he was? This is the beauty of the personal experience example. You can make up something and use it as a personal experience. Just try to not make it obvious that you're smudging the truth. For example, don't say your dad is a top level professor at Harvard. Just keep it simple and say he's a high school teacher.

So in your introduction you should say: what side you picked and examples you will use to support your side. If you can think of some clever first line (maybe relating to the example you are going to use) to draw the reader in, put it in. If not, don't waste time on thinking up one. Just go ahead and declare what you view is in the first line of the essay.

Related Tags: sat essay, sat test, beating the sat, acing the sat, new essay sat, bad writer, step by step guide

John Liu is a freshman studying at Cornell University. He achieved a score of 2140 on the SAT and got into the Ivy League without the help of a $900 Kaplan or Princeton Review course. Visit his site for Part II of this guide and more SAT and College admission tips.

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