how do you write a good sat essay?
I want a score of 6!
i’ll take advice, sample essays, anything!
The key to writing a good SAT essay is knowing and practicing the process of writing to a prompt. Do you have a copy of The College Board’s “Official SAT Study Guide”? If so, look in the portion addressing essays for sample essays that have received scores of 5 or 6. You’ll see that some of the stellar essays have one example, while some have more. The key to scoring a 5 or 6 is writing a response that is clearly organized, with interesting, relevant examples and overall strong writing. Once you’ve read a few examples of essays that have received high scores, take a few prompts from the released SAT practice tests and practice writing responses.
When practicing, here are the steps you should take:
1. Read the question
2. Determine if your answer is YES or NO, and also think about why
3. Brainstorm several examples that support your answer.
4. Come up with a thesis statement STEPS 1-4 should take a total of about 4 minutes
5. Begin writing — following loosely the outline you came up with in steps 3 and 4. Consider writing a 5 paragraph essay. The first paragraph will be an intro, the middle 3 will be 3 clearly explained examples connected by transition sentences and the 5th will be the conclusion. Of course, if you decide to use only one example, you might not have a 5 paragraph essay, but you will want to make sure you fully explain that example. This should take about 18 minutes
6. Reread your essay and fix any errors (grammatical, spelling, etc). This should take about 3 minutes
Never skip the brainstorming stage. Allow yourself those 4 minutes to really set up your outline and think about your examples. You may feel pressured to get writing right away given the time limit, but most likely without brainstorming, you’ll end up with a poorly organized essay. Practicing the process of answering a prompt in 25 minutes several times before you actually face the task on test day will help you to internalize the process and become more efficient.
Other general steps you can take to improve your writing include reading and writing more each day. Make sure you read well written materials from various sources. These can be short articles found in newspapers or magazines as well as longer texts. Exposure to well written text will help you incorporate stronger sentence structures and vocabulary into your own writing. Make sure you notice what makes each piece you read effective. Did the author use strong word choice? An engaging lead? Interesting examples? Make a point to recognize effective writing when you see it.
Practice writing as much as possible too. Whether you keep a journal, write responses to what you’ve read, or even compose blog entries, practice conveying your thoughts in written form. Keep in mind, writing is a skill that can be improved with practice!
Best of luck on the SAT!