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09/04/2019

Tips for the SAT essay?

QUESTION
Tips for the SAT essay?
I’m taking the SAT on Oct. 6th. I’m sure I’ll do well on the math & reading/verbal portions, but I’ve had no experience with the essay portion. I do write well, though, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll write a decent essay.

But – to those that have taken the SAT with the essay portion – do you have any tips for me? What are the questions/prompts like? How much time should I take to outline or organize my ideas, if any? Does my handwriting matter very much, or is it not too important? How long of an essay should I plan on writing? How much room am I given to write in? How is the essay scored? (Sorry if any of these sound like stupid questions with obvious answers, but I’m just curious about this.)

Thanks in advance. =)

ANSWER
As long as your handwriting is legible (and not like a doctor’s handwriting usually is), it’s fine.

This was my particular prompt (which it probably won’t be, but it’ll give you an idea of their difficulty and the type of thing they ask):

From the time people are very young, they are urged to get along with others, to try to “fit in.” Indeed, people are often rewarded for being agreeable and obedient. But this approach is misguided because it promotes uniformity instead of encouraging people to be unique and different. Differences among people give each of us greater perspective and allow us to make better judgments. (Write about whether uniformity or uniqueness is better and why).

It’s graded like this:
2 people read your essay and each give you a score on a scale of 1-6 (6 being the best). If the 2 numbers are different by more than a point than a 3rd person will score the essay. The final number is out of 12 (each reader’s score added together – ex. if both readers give you a 4, your final score would be 8).