What Is Graded on the SAT Essay?
1. Content A score of a 6 “effectively and insightfully develops a point of view . . . demonstrates outstanding critical thinking, using clearly appropriate examples, reasons, and other evidence. . .” To improve your own content you should:
- Develop a point of view. It is not enough to state your position, you must develop it!
- Provide depth in examples. You can give great detail by developing one example at length or you can provide two or three examples that are presented in depth.
- Establish a clear answer (thesis).
- Develop your answer in a logical and orderly way. Do not jump from idea to idea and back again.
- No matter what format you select for your essay, you should provide a logical beginning, middle, and end to your work.
- Avoid slang and colloquialisms, but do not appear too haughty.
- Maintain a natural tone using well-chosen words that are actually part of your vocabulary.
- It is easy to repeat words or phrases from the question; be aware of repetition and look for opportunities to use varied vocabulary.
- Mix it up. Use long compound-complex sentences. Use short sentences.
- Be aware of your own writing style.
- Look for ways to show the reader your sophistication and aptitude with words.
- Watch for errors that interrupt a reader’s understanding of a sentence.
- Re–read your paper before time is called. Too often students have a complete idea in their minds, but in the rush to finish the essay in 25 minutes, they make careless grammatical errors.