If you try to imagine the worst situation someone could put you in, the SAT essay would certainly come to your mind. Everyone understands you’re under tons of stress months before the test. However, you should keep in mind that you are not the only student facing this challenge. Relax and follow these 10 tips; they will help you master the SAT essay like a boss.
1. There is no success without a plan
Once you read the question, think about the way you’ll answer it. Form a basic structure in your mind and think about the main arguments you are going to expose. Try to think of facts and examples that would support the arguments.
During the planning stage, you may think of two decent thesis statement and 5 strong arguments for each of them. This is the time to make decisions. You don’t have much time to write the SAT essay, so try to make choices and construct a plan within 1-2 minutes.
3. You don’t have to write 5 paragraphs
Believe it or not, 4 paragraphs are acceptable. If you’re left with no time after you write the third one, wrap everything up with a solid conclusion and you’ll have chances of getting good points.
4. Explain yourself!
You need to provide explanations and proof for your reasoning. That’s why it would be better to write 4 paragraphs instead of 5 – this structure gives you more room to support your point of view. Since you cannot use the Internet to find proper references, you’ll have to rely on examples. Think about real-life situations and show how the thesis statement functions in practice.
5. Keep it focused!
If each sentence takes it own turn, the reader won’t understand what you are trying to say. Form your ideas before you start writing and make sure every single statement is linked to the main thesis. Stick to the planned outline and you’ll do just fine.
6. Make it personal!
There is one thing all SAT prompts have in common: they ask for the student’s opinion. Don’t be afraid to write in first person; show how you understand the concept and how the topic influenced your life. Do not write like you’re chatting with a friend, though. Make sure to maintain proper level, but don’t hesitate to infuse some personality into your answer.
7. Don’t write unnecessary statements
Let’s take blogs for example: do you like posts that explain everything as clearly as possible, or you prefer those that go in great length without offering clear solutions? Of course you picked the first category! What makes you think that someone would be willing to read an SAT essay full of pointless explanations? Be selective and write only when you are certain that the statement deserves a spot in the essay.
8. Do not lie!
You want to start your essay with a strong quote, but you don’t have anything in your memory? So, you decide to make something up and sign Socrates under it. Do not do that! It’s not just about ethics; it’s about being unable to write truthfully. If you cannot think of a way to support your statement, just write examples and be honest.
9. Think about grammar!
Don’t only focus solely on making the essay interesting. Grammar is always important! If a certain structure doesn’t seem natural, think of a simpler way to express yourself. If you submit a piece full of inconsistent grammar and mechanics, the results won’t be good. Practice and improve your English skills before taking the test.
10. Leave time for proofreading
No one writes a perfect essay in one attempt. Make sure to read through your answer and correct all mistakes you made. If you notice that something doesn’t make sense, get rid of that part or support it with an example.
You won’t regret spending a lot of time in preparations for the SAT. This test is important and challenging, so you’ll feel more comfortable if you start following the 10 above-listed tips as early as possible.