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One of the SAT’s three sections is a writing and essay test. The writing portion contains multiple-choice questions assessing your knowledge of grammar and sentence structure, while the essay portion requires a well-formulated response to a given prompt.
The essay comprises 30% of this section’s score.
A 35-minute block of the SAT writing test is made up of multiple choice questions. They gauge your understanding of grammar, diction, sentence structure, subject-verb agreement, vocabulary and so on. The questions fall into three categories:
The first category asks you to locate errors in grammar, vocabulary or diction and to suggest replacements. The two remaining categories offer examples of poorly written sentences or paragraphs and ask you to select appropriate changes.
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During the SAT essay portion, you have 25 minutes to write a response to a given prompt. In most cases, this response will be your reaction to a broad philosophical or social issue; for example, do you think technology impacts humankind positively or negatively?
It’s important when writing your SAT essay to establish a definite point of view and develop a logical argument supporting it. This means providing evidence in favor of your position, drawn from either personal experience or academic knowledge. The reader should always have a clear understanding of your argument.
Three basic guidelines determine SAT essay scores:
Take practice tests and try to increase your vocabulary. A sensible study strategy can mean less stress and better scores.
The essay is scored differently from the other two sections of the SAT exam (the math section and the reading comprehension section). It is assigned two readers, each of whom rate it along a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being excellent and 1 being poor. The two scores are then added together for a new rating somewhere between 2 and 12, with 12 being excellent and 2 being poor.