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09/04/2019

How to write a good essay on the SAT?

QUESTION
How to write a good essay on the SAT?
You know how when you rip a paper in half? And then you rip one of the pieces in half? And one of those in half and so on til you can’t rip them anymore? SAT essay prompts are like that last piece to me. I can’t “rip it up”, or elaborate on the topic any further, because the topic is so specific instead of vague. I don’t know how I’m going to find more than one reason to support my opinion in the body. Help please?

ANSWER
Here are some tips to help you tackle the essay:

1. Keep calm and stay confident.

Remember, though this prompt topic may seem foreign to you, you will be able to write the SAT essay. The College Board knows standardized tests, and it is extremely conscious of the kinds of questions it asks. The prompt is fair. Period.

2. Focus on the questions.

The first few paragraphs of the prompt might be describing something unfamiliar, but the questions themselves are broad enough to be answered regardless. What do the questions ask? What do they want you to think about and form an opinion on?

3. Play to your strengths.

You know that the content of your essay is the key to getting a good score. Be sure to play to your strengths. Use examples in your essay that you are familiar with in addition to what you just learned from the prompt. For instance, last March’s SAT prompt taught you the basics of reality TV, so think of books, plays, or other shows you know of that approach entertainment and reality in a similar way. Just be careful to stay on topic and keep to your stance.

4. Remember your test prep.

You’ve done the practice essays, you’ve reviewed the SAT scoring system and you’ve read examples of essays that scored a six and others that scored a one. Keep all the tips and tricks in mind and focus. Familiar prompt or unfamiliar prompt, the principles on how to write the SAT essay are all the same!