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When preparing for the SAT or ACT it’s important to understand all the nuances of each exam, including the sections, content, question types, and more.
The new SAT Essay section presents an extended piece of nonfiction prose, often times an article excerpted from the likes of or a Condé Nast publication, ranging between 650-800 words, then asks the student to write a five-paragraph essay that identifies, explains, and evaluates the stylistic, rhetorical, and logical elements of the text that contribute to its meaning – all in the span of 50 minutes.
All the prompts stick to the following template: “Write an essay in which you explain how [the author’s name] builds an argument to persuade his/her audience…your essay should not explain whether or not you agree with [the author’s] claims, but rather explain how [the author] builds an argument to persuade his/her audience.”The SAT prompt does not ask for the student’s opinion on the passage, it tests for how well the student understands the passage’s argument and how the author makes the argument.
For this reason, the student will receive three separate scores for the SAT Essay: a reading, analysis, and writing score.
This is a tough essay assignment under any circumstances, much less one that the student must complete in 50 minutes as the last section of the SAT.
The essay prompt describes an issue and provides three different perspectives on the issue.
Students are tasked with three distinct objectives for the essay: to ‘evaluate and analyze the three given perspectives’; to ‘state and develop’ their own perspective; and to ‘explain the relationship’ between their perspectives and those given.
Their score will not be affected by what perspective they take on the issue.
Consider the following prompt featured on the ACT website: There is a fair amount of reading to be done here even before the student can begin to write.
While the essay on both the ACT and SAT is now optional, many colleges still require a writing score as part of the college application.
Preparing for the ACT or SAT essay can be daunting, however, with proper tutoring and guidance, students can achieve strong writing scores that will only help enhance their college applications.