As most of us know, the SAT is the most common entrance test to get into a college/university in the United States at the undergraduate level. The full form of SAT is ‘Scholastic Assessment Test’. The SAT exam determines whether you are eligible to be admitted to a college/university in the United States by assessing your mathematical, verbal, and writing skills. That forms a part of the SAT general test. However, there is also a provision of SAT subject tests which allow students to give the SAT in particular areas of study depending on the specific courses they want to do.
In the SAT general test, there is a writing section which includes writing an essay and two sections of multiple choice answers. It checks for your expression of ideas and standard English conventions. But, are you wondering how to prepare for SAT? This article will give you tips on how to ace the essay writing section. One important thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the essay section is optional. However, it is recommended that you attempt it since it will be beneficial for college in the future.
- Know the technical deets: Make sure you have a clear idea about what the structure of this section is, what to expect, and how much time would be given. To give you a rough idea, this section involves being given a passage of about 650 to 750 words. One must analyse this passage and form an argument of their own. Usually, 50 minutes are given to complete this section. What you need to do is build the author’s argument, and not form an opinion about it. You can do this by giving evidence and relating sentences to one another.
- What to expect: The passage given is usually a very general topic understandable by a broad spectrum of people. But make sure, you are aware of what is happening around you just to ensure that you don’t go blank. However, you need not have prior knowledge about the topic, just a general understanding of what it is through the passage given. Examples of topics include encroachment of forests, the seriousness of the impact of climate change, how bad is technology for humans, etc.
- Scoring system: Understand the scoring system well. You must give the examiner what you think they most likely expect, and accordingly, build your own essay. You will be marked within the 2 to 8 range for the entire writing section, there are no specific marks for the essay, neither is there any percentile.
- Read loads of books: This is no worry if you’re an avid reader, but if you’re not, pick up a newspaper, or a comic (with decent English), and just read. Grab as many expressive words and sentences as you can. Try making this an everyday habit (at least till you give your SAT). This will help you pen down your thoughts much more easily.
- Back to basics: Maybe, just maybe, if you find your 8th-grade grammar textbook somewhere, pick it up and brush up your basics. Know when to use “is” and “are”, what the comparative degree of the word “good” is, and know the difference between “their” and “they’re”.
- Beating those weaknesses: Figure out what you lag in, and try improving it. It could be basic spellings, or having lots of thoughts but not being able to write them down clearly or in the way you want, or getting anxious at the idea of writing something as big as an essay. Identify these spots, and work on them till you’re confident enough to be able to overcome them when you’re actually going to take the test.
- Download a prep app: There are several applications available that will definitely help you out with the essay and give you tips. The best part about these applications is that you can utilize your time on the go. You could be travelling, but you wouldn’t have to take a book out to study. These apps are good enough.
- Practice tests: Make sure you attempt a lot of these essays to get a good hold over your language and writing skills. It will help you be better prepared and confident enough to give the SAT exam.
We’re sure that if you follow these hacks religiously, you are bound to excel in the essay writing section of the SAT. There are many SAT coaching classes that help you with entire SAT preparation. Make sure you prepare well. All the best!