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Does the SAT Essay Matter Everything You Need To Know
  • Oct 2022
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Does the SAT Essay Matter Everything You Need To Know

29th October 2022

If you're applying to college in the United States, you'll almost certainly need to take the SAT or ACT exam.

This is because most institutions demand the SAT or ACT as part of the application process.

The College Board administers the SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test. It is divided into four sections and includes an optional essay.

Reading, Writing and Language, Maths (no calculator), and Maths are covered in the four sections (calculator).

Because the essay is marked as optional, you may be wondering if the SAT essay is important.

That is an excellent question with an intriguing and slightly changeable response. We'll go over all you need to know about SAT scoring in general, as well as provide more insight into the essay.

You should be able to make an informed decision on whether or not to take the SAT essay after reading this.


SAT Subject Scoring

Before we go into the essay, let's talk about how the SAT is graded. After passing the exam, you will be given a score between 400 and 1600.

A raw score is assigned to each topic. This is the number of questions you properly answered.

The College Board then uses data to undertake a procedure known as "equating."

This results in a score ranging from 200 to 800 for the two general areas, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Maths.

The College Board doesn't say anything about how "equating" works.


SAT Essay Scoring

The SAT essay was previously obligatory, but the ACT essay was always optional. The College Board just made the SAT essay optional as well.

Students are given 50 minutes to complete an essay.

The new SAT essay prompt requires students to examine how the author constructed his or her case.

The essay is graded by two readers who give it a score between 2 and 8. The average of their two grades is then used to calculate their final score.

When your SAT score is transmitted to colleges, the essay score is sent separately from your overall SAT score.


Does The SAT Essay Matter?

"Should I skip the SAT essay entirely?" you may be wondering.

The reality is that only approximately 10% of universities still demand it. However, keep in mind that this could change.

It's advisable to check with your prospective school directly before taking the SAT to determine if they require it.

Google "[school name] SAT requirement" to find out if your institution requires the SAT essay.

If the school you want to attend mandates it, you have no choice but to finish the essay.

Some individuals would advise you to write the essay regardless in case you decide to apply to a school that demands it later.

It is also important to remember that you cannot take the essay component separately. If you decide you need it later, you will have to retake the entire exam.

This implies you'll have to pay again and devote three to four hours of your time to finishing the exam.


Pros of Taking the SAT Essay

There may be advantages to completing the SAT essay part. If you want to finish the essay, you will have:

  1. Confirmed that you are eligible to apply to any school

  2. Possibly expanded your application (even if schools may not require it, they may use the score as an indication of how well you can write)


Cons of Taking the SAT Essay

If you know you won't need the SAT essay, it might be worth skipping it. This is due to:

  1. It is an additional $14 charge.

  2. It adds around one hour to the already three-hour test.

  3. More studying and exam preparation will be required.


How to Study for the SAT Essay

If you choose to take the SAT essay, you must be prepared. The SAT essay requires you to write a section of between 650 and 750 words.

You must read, comprehend, and understand the passage. The author will then ask you to examine and explain how he or she produced his or her point.

Consider the following activities to help you prepare:

  1. Look at sample passages and prompts.

  2. Write responses and time yourself for 50 minutes to practice.

  3. Read published op-ed pieces to learn how others write and frame arguments.

  4. Request that several individuals you trust to read and score your practice essays.

Make sure to do the following on test day:

  1. Take your time reading the prompt.

  2. Make time to read the excerpt.

  3. Build a response plan.

  4. Write as clearly, concisely, and error-free as possible.

  5. Allow time for editing.


The SAT is not required by all colleges.

While you may be debating whether to take the SAT essay component, keep in mind that certain universities do not require the SAT at all.

Many online universities are particularly guilty of this.

There are a few prerequisites for enrollment at the University of the People. The major two requirements are English proficiency and confirmation of high school graduation.

There has been significant discussion about how difficult and uneven the admissions process is at American universities.

This is especially true for the SAT and ACT, which are more of a measure of test-taking abilities than IQ.

As a result, those who can afford private coaching and SAT classes may have an advantage over those who study alone.

As a result, the University of the People is committed to providing high-quality, tuition-free higher education to students from all over the world.

It makes no difference how well or poorly you perform on standardized tests.

Instead, the most important thing is that you want to learn.


In conclusion

The final line is that taking the SAT essay component is a personal choice. Although it is optional, some schools still demand it (taking away its status as being optional).

If you are positive that you want to attend a school that does not require the essay section, you can save money and time by not taking it.

If you are unsure where you will be applying, it may be in your best interest to finish the essay.

Perform your homework and be certain of your decision before signing up for the SAT.



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