Read the Question Carefully.
- Make sure you understand what is being asked of you by the assignment.
- Make sure you address EVERYTHING the question asks you to address.
- Plan to work within the allotted time frame (approximately 25-30 minutes).
Organize Your Writing.
- Be sure your essay on the whole has an Introduction, Body and Conclusion (a.k.a. A Beginning, a Middle and an End.)
- Be sure your paragraphs have topic sentences.
Use Specific Details and Examples.
- Support the ideas in your topic sentences.
- Use vivid language.
- Avoid slang/Use formal, written English.
- Do not use vocabulary word with which you are not familiar just to “sound impressive.”
Have a Point of View.
- The Test Graders want to see you take a clear position in your answer.
- Do not worry about taking popular positions in your responses. You will NOT be evaluated on your beliefs – you will be evaluated on how well you illuminate, argue and logically reason for your beliefs.
Make Points & Be Purposeful.
- Don’t B.S.
- Each paragraph should make a specific point.
- Each sentence should make a specific point that relates to the overall point of the paragraph.
Proofread Your Work.
- Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Count!
- A great deal of success on the SAT happens BEFORE you take the test.
- Be familiar with the SAT Grading Rubric for Writing.
- Have practiced writing sample essay responses in the allotted amount of time to simulate test conditions.