General Overview of the Essay Writing Section.
- Students will be asked to write a short essay that requires them to take a position on an issue and use examples to support their position.
Time Allotted for Essay Responses.
- Students will be allotted 25 minutes to complete their essay.
How the essay will be scored.
- The essays will be graded holistically on a scale from 1-6 (with 6 being the highest score) based on the overall quality of the essay and the student’s demonstration of writing competence.
- Holistic grading means a grade will be assigned based on an overall sense of how well the essay has been executed in the time allotted.
- Handwriting is NOT a part of the grading scale (but writing legibly so that test graders can reader a students’ work will certainly help).
Who will score the essay.
- The essay will be scored by experienced and trained high school and college teachers.
- Each essay will be scored by two people who will not know each other’s score, the student’s name/identity or the student’s school.
- Each grader will give the essay a score from 1 to 6 (6 is the highest) based on a SCORING RUBRIC for the SAT ESSAY WRITING SECTION.
- The two scores will then be added together to arrive at your essay subscore.
What the Holistic Approach to Grading Means to You
- Even with some errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar, you can still get a top score on the essay because student’s work will be evaluated holistically meaning readers will consider the essay as a total piece of work and will judge it on the overall impression it produces.
- Remember, handwriting will not count against you, but essay readers must be able to read your writing in order to score your essay, so you should try to write legibly.