New Sat Scoring With Essay Topics

The scoring model on the new SAT differs significantly from the scoring model that was used on the old version of the test. It's important to be aware of these changes so that you can plan your studying and test-taking strategies accordingly.

In this article, I'll go through all the scoring differences that have taken place for the new SAT and what they mean for you as a student.

 

Main Scoring Differences

The biggest change in the new SAT scoring structure is that it uses a 1600 point scale instead of a 2400 point scale. The Math section is still worth 800 points. The Reading and Writing sections together are called “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing” and account for the other 800 points. The essay is optional and scored separately from the multiple choice portions of the test (your essay score doesn't affect your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score).

Another difference in the scoring methodology is the elimination of point deductions for wrong answers. On the old SAT, you were docked a quarter of a point for every question you answered incorrectly. The SAT is now more like the ACT in that incorrect answers are treated the same as questions that were left blank (no points added or subtracted). There are also four answer choices for each question now rather than five.

 

What Does This Mean for You?

Since there’s no guessing penalty, you don’t have to worry about whether you should guess or leave a question blank on the test. Guessing is always the right choice! This doesn’t necessarily mean that it's easier to get a higher score since the test is curved to account for these changes. However, it does take some of the stress out of the testing process.

The switch to a 1600 scale shouldn’t impact you unless you’re trying to compare your scores out of 2400 on the old SAT to scores on the new version. This may be a concern if you want to know how much you’ll need to improve to get a score on the new SAT that’s equivalent to your goal score on the old SAT. Here's a chart that will help you convert your current or older scores to their equivalent numbers on the new SAT.

However, keep in mind that the latest scoring model gives more weight to Math score. On the old SAT, Math only made up one-third of your total score. On the new SAT, it makes up half. This could mean that students who are especially strong in Math will do better on the new SAT by 50 or so points.

If you scored an 800 on Math and a 650 on both Reading and Writing on the old SAT, you would have a composite score of 2100. Assuming you continued to stay at the same level upon taking the new SAT, an 800 in Math and a 650 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section would give you a 1450. This score is 50 points higher than the 1400 you would predict for yourself if you multiplied 2100 by two-thirds for a direct conversion to the new scale.

Most colleges will accept scores from both the current SAT and the new SAT for at least a couple of years. The College Board will provide colleges with concordance tables to help them judge and compare scores across the two different tests. Also, score choice is still an option, so you don’t have to worry about that changing with the updated test. 

 

Lock up your bad SAT score in a safe hidden behind a nondescript painting in your rich old uncle's mansion. No one will ever know about it unless he dies and you and your cousins have to spend a spooky night locked in his house (and his will stipulates that you have to disclose your deepest, darkest secrets to each other in order to get a piece of the inheritance).

 

New SAT Subscores

The new SAT also includes a complex scoring structure beyond the main section scores. There are test scores for Math, Reading, and Writing, each on a scale of 10-40. Also, the new SAT has two special categories of questions, Analysis in History/Social Sciences and Analysis in Science. These are also scored on a scale of 10-40. These scores are called “cross-test scores” because each of the categories cover questions in all three sections of the test.

Additionally, there are seven subscores, each on a scale of 1-15, for the following categories:

  • Command of Evidence (Reading and Writing)
  • Words in Context (Reading and Writing)
  • Expression of Ideas (Writing)
  • Standard English Conventions (Writing)
  • Heart of Algebra (Math)
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis (Math)
  • Passport to Advanced Math (Math)

Here's a breakdown of the different subscores in this graphic taken from the Khan Academy website:

This means that each question on the test fits into multiple subscore categories. Take, for example, this question from the Reading section of one of the new SAT practice tests:

The graph following the passage offers evidence that gift-givers base their predictions of how much a gift will be appreciated on

A)  the appreciation level of the gift-recipients.
B)  the monetary value of the gift.
C)  their own desires for the gifts they purchase.
D)  their relationship with the gift-recipients.

 

This question would naturally be included in the subscore for the Reading test. It would also be included in the Analysis in History/Social Sciences cross-test score: since it deals with the interpretation of a graph that contains data about a sociological phenomenon, it requires you to think analytically in a social sciences context.

It would not be a part of the Command of Evidence or Words in Context Reading subscores because it doesn't ask you to provide evidence for your answer to a previous question or demonstrate your understanding of the meaning of a word in the passage. 

 

What a thoughtful gift! I definitely won't throw these away in the next trash can I happen to see!

 

What Does This Mean for You?

The new subscores mean more information about your strengths and weaknesses on the test. These scores help highlight your specific strengths for colleges and also provide guidance on where you can improve your skills. College Board has partnered up with Khan Academy to offer a free prep program for the newSAT that personalizes your prep plan based on your subscore distribution to help you focus on improving your specific weak areas. 

The subscores also point to new question types on the current SAT. Notice that “Command of Evidence” is a subscore category for Reading questions. Questions that ask you to cite evidence for your answers are now a major component of the Reading section. These questions ask which lines of the passage provide the best evidence for the answer to the previous question, pushing you to understand the reasoning behind your response. This can be a plus in that it might eliminate silly mistakes on some reading questions, but it also adds a challenging new layer of analysis.

“Words in Context” is also a telling category; understanding vocabulary in context is now a bigger part of the Reading section. The elimination of sentence completion questions means that there are more vocabulary in context questions. These focus less on obscure vocabulary and more on understanding nuances in the meanings of more commonly used words.

The existence of “Problem Solving and Data Analysis”, along with the two cross-test analytical scores, means that there are questions that ask you to interpret data and apply mathematical and logical reasoning to real-life scenarios.

 

Essay Scores

On the current SAT, the essay is optional, and its format has also been updated. Rather than asking you to write about your opinion on a general question, the essay prompt asks you to read a passage and analyze the argument that is presented. The College Board says that the new essay is “a lot like a typical college writing assignment in which you’re asked to analyze a text.”

The essay is scored from 2-8 across three different dimensions: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. The essays are still read by two graders, but now each grader scores the essay on a scale of 1-4 in Reading, Analysis, and Writing. These scores are then added together for a score from 2-8 in each category. This means the maximum essay score is a 24, and the minimum is a 6.

Here's a rubric that explains exactly how these scores are determined. Essentially, the difference between an "advanced" essay and a merely "proficient" essay is the level of understanding of the source text that the student demonstrates. An advanced essay shows a thorough comprehension of how details in the text interrelate to support the author's argument.  It goes beyond a basic summary of the author's points to give an insightful, focused analysis of the argument.

 
You really should be able to use a magnifying glass on the essay. From what I've seen on Google images, analysis can't happen without one.

 

What Does This Mean for You?

The College Board has created a new essay format in which students must demonstrate analytical skills that are critical for success in college. On the new essay, you’re asked to explain how the author builds his or her argument in the passage and support your points with relevant evidence and details. Asking students to write an essay about another person’s argument is a better way of judging reading and writing skills than asking them to write an opinion piece. 

Whether or not you end up in a humanities discipline in college, you’ll probably write a research paper or at least analyze other people’s scientific or historical findings at some point. An ability to understand and synthesize key points in an argument made by someone else is crucial for intellectual discourse. The text for the prompt on the new SAT is always taken from a published work, so it is high quality, advanced material similar to what you might see in a college course.

You now have 50 minutes to write the essay instead of 25, so you might not be as concerned about time pressure. Remember that you have the option of taking the SAT without the essay, which can eliminate a lot of stress from the testing process. However, many schools, especially the most selective ones, still require applicants to submit essay scores. Check the requirements for schools that interest you!

 

Conclusion

The SAT now has an updated scoring model to account for changes in question types and testing methodology. The main difference between the old scoring format and the current format is the switch back to a 1600 point scale. You can no longer lose points for incorrect answers, and there are four answer choices for each question rather than five.

The SAT has also added subscores that give you a more detailed picture of your strengths and weaknesses on the test along with a greater degree of personalized support and prep advice through a partnership with Khan Academy. 

The essay is optional. It also has a more complex scoring system that judges a student’s ability to read an advanced text effectively, analyze the author’s argument, and write coherently about the author's main points.  

There have been some major changes to the format the SAT, but if you start preparing now, you'll be ready to take on these new challenges in no time!

 

What's Next?

Now that you know how the new SAT is scored, you might be wondering if it's the best standardized test option for you. Read this article on whether you should take the new SAT or the ACT.

Take a look at this article for some tips on how to study for the updated version of the SAT. You should also read our complete guide to the new SAT.

 

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

The SAT Essay is scored separately from the rest of the SAT now, thanks to the changes that went into effect in March 2016.

While the essay is now optional (you don't automatically have to take it every time you take the SAT), some colleges still require students to submit SAT essay scores with their applications. Learning how to consistently write a perfect SAT essay will be a huge boost to your application to these schools.

In this article, we'll discuss what it takes to get a perfect 8/8/8 on the SAT essay and what you need to do to train yourself to get this top score.

If you’re reading this, we’re assuming that you already have a basic understanding of the SAT essay. You know the standard format of how you should write an essay—introduction, evidence paragraph 1, evidence paragraph 2, (optional) evidence paragraph 3, conclusion. You know that you should state your thesis in the introduction. All of this will get you a 5/8 as long as you develop your points enough.

If you aren’t fully aware of the SAT essay building blocks, take a spin through our 15 SAT Essay tips to raise your essay score.

But how do you push your essay to the next level, from "adequate" to "outstanding?" That’s what this article is about.

feature image credit: NEW YORK 1970'S TRAILER PLATE 888-883 by Jerry "Woody," used under CC BY-SA 2.0/Cropped from original.

 

The Big Secret

You’ll have to practice this. The perfect SAT essay is like a puzzle that happens to be in written form—it can be mastered, but to do it well and completely every time requires practice with a lot of sample topics. You need to learn the format of an effective essay and how to fill out a complete essay within 50 minutes.

 

What an SAT Essay Score of 8 Means

If you’re already scoring a 5 or above in all three areas on practice (or real) SAT essays, you have a shot at completely nailing what the graders want, represented by a score of 8/8/8, with a little practice.

But there’s something important to remember in your question for perfection: on the SAT essay, an 8 in all categories is not always achievable. We’ve got good news and bad news for those of you who are determined to score an 8/8/8 on the SAT essay.

 

Good News and Bad News by Mike Licht, used under CC BY 2.0/Cropped from original.

 

The Bad News

Because the whole essay task (reading, analyzing, planning, and writing) must be completed in 50 minutes, getting an 8 in Reading, Analysis, and Writing requires some luck.

You have to read the article and analyze the way the author builds her/his argument, pick out the most important components to the argument, find evidence to support your interpretation, and plan out your essay before you can even start writing.

A lot depends on how quickly you can come up with a thesis and relevant support for whatever the prompt happens to be—you might find some articles easier to read and analyze the argumentative structure of than others.

You'll need to use precise language to show mastery of English writing. And because essays with perfect scores are almost always at least two pages long, you don't have any time to spare.

If you trip up on your execution of any of these aspects, the graders might not give your SAT essay an 8/8/8.

 

The Good News

Because the essay is so formulaic, it's always possible to get a 6 across the board. Sometimes you might find the author's argument to analyze harder than others, or sometimes you might find the article more difficult to get through, but you will always be able to impress them enough to get a 6/6/6.

No college worth its salt is going to base your college admissions decision on getting those last two points on an essay you had 50 minutes to write (especially when the essay is optional). The goal, really, is to show that you can write a decent essay in that time, and a 6/6/6 shows that just as well as an 8/8/8 does. But you should aim as high as you can, so keep reading to find out what it really takes to get a perfect score on the SAT essay.

 

The Difference Between a 6 and an 8

If we asked the College Board what the difference is between a 6 and an 8 SAT essay, they would direct us to the scoring rubric that shows the criteria for a 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Reading, Analysis, and Writing. (SAT essays are scored by two graders who each rate your essay on a scale of 1-4 in Reading, Analysis, and Writing; the two graders' scores are added together to get scores out of 8 for each domain.)

Below, we've excerpted the criteria for a 3 and a 4 in all three domains and described the differences between the 3 and 4 score levels for Reading, Analysis, and Writing. We’ve marked the differences between the 3 and 4 criteria in bold.

 

 

Proficient:

Score of 3 (6)

Advanced:

Score of 4 (8)

Major Differences

Reading

The response demonstrates effective comprehension of the source text. The response shows an understanding of the text’s central idea(s) and important details. The response is free of substantive errors of fact and interpretation with regard to the text. The response makes appropriate use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating an understanding of the source text.

The response demonstrates thorough comprehension of the source text. The response shows an understanding of the text’s central idea(s) and of most important details and how they interrelate, demonstrating a comprehensive understanding of the text. The response is free of errors of fact or interpretation with regard to the text. The response makes skillful use of textual evidence (quotations, paraphrases, or both), demonstrating a complete understanding of the source text.

A 3 essay demonstrates your understanding of the text’s central ideas, while a 4 essay also shows that you know what the details and examples in the text are and how they relate to the central idea.

Analysis

The response offers an effective analysis of the source text and demonstrates an understanding of the analytical task. The response competently evaluates the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive elements, and/or feature(s) of the student’s own choosing. The response contains relevant and sufficient support for claim(s) or point(s) made. The response focuses primarily on those features of the text that are most relevant to addressing the task.

The response offers an insightful analysis of the source text and demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the analytical task. The response offers a thorough, well-considered evaluation of the author’s use of evidence, reasoning, and/or stylistic and persuasive elements, and/or feature(s) of the student’s own choosing. The response contains relevant, sufficient, and strategically chosen support for claim(s) or point(s) made. The response focuses consistently on those features of the text that are most relevant to addressing the task.

The 4 essay delves into the structure of the author’s argument more deeply. The writer not only states the techniques used in the text, but also thoroughly explains their impact on the reader. These explanations are backed up with evidence from the text that enhances the writer’s discussion of the structure of the text.

Writing

The response is mostly cohesive and demonstrates effective use and control of language. The response includes a central claim or implicit controlling idea. The response includes an effective introduction and conclusion. The response demonstrates a clear progression of ideas both within paragraphs and throughout the essay. The response has variety in sentence structures. The response demonstrates some precise word choice. The response maintains a formal style and objective tone. The response shows a good control of the conventions of standard written English and is free of significant errors that detract from the quality of writing.

The response is cohesive and demonstrates a highly effective use and command of language. The response includes a precise central claim. The response includes a skillful introduction and conclusion. The response demonstrates a deliberate and highly effective progression of ideas both within paragraphs and throughout the essay. The response has a wide variety in sentence structures. The response demonstrates a consistent use of precise word choice. The response maintains a formal style and objective tone. The response shows a strong command of the conventions of standard written English and is free or virtually free of errors.

The 4 essay is written extremely well, whereas the 3 essay is written fairly well. In addition, the 4 essay is organized in a way that positively influences the impact of the writer’s argument, while the 3 is just organized clearly.

 

Let’s condense the information above. A perfect 4 essay:

  • is extremely clear
  • is consistent, smooth, and easy to read
  • has few errors
  • is not repetitive in content or language
  • is sufficiently detailed (using evidence from the text) to fully support the writer’s thesis
  • demonstrates that you understand the text and the author’s claim(s)

In other words, you need to excel in every one of these aspects to get a perfect score.

 

A Sample Essay

Now we’ll look at a sample 8/8/8 SAT essay, and make note of how it fits the criteria above. The prompt (taken from The Official SAT Study Guide) for the sample essay is as follows:

Write an essay in which you explain how Peter S. Goodman builds an argument to persuade his audience that news organizations should increase the amount of professional foreign news coverage provided to people in the United States. In your essay, analyze how Goodman uses one or more of the features listed in the box above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of his argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage.

The passage to which this prompt refers appears on pp. 183-185 of The Official SAT Study Guide (March 2016 & Beyond), or on slightly different pages in later editions. You'll need the passage to follow along with the sample essay below.

Here’s the essay. Read it first, and we’ll have annotations below.

     In the article “Foreign News at a Crisis Point,” Peter S. Goodman eloquently argues the ‘point’ that news organizations should increase the amount of professional foreign news coverage provided to people in the United States. Goodman builds his argument by using facts and evidence, addressing the counterarguments, and couching it all in persuasive and compelling language.

     Goodman begins the article by bombarding the reader with facts and statistics. He states that, according to a census conducted by the American Journalism Review, the number of full-time foreign news correspondents in the United States dropped from 307 in 2003 to 234 in 2011. In addition, the AJR survey also discovered that “the space devoted to foreign news [in American papers] had shrunk by 53 percent” in the last 25 years.

     Beginning the article with all of these facts and figures has a couple of strengtheing effects on Goodman’s argument. First, by starting out with hard evidence, Goodman lays the groundwork of his own credibility. He’s not just writing an opinion piece—his opinion is backed by the truth. This will bring the readers onboard and make them more likely to trust everything else he says. Second, because Goodman presents these facts without much explaining/interpreting, the reader is forced to do the math herself. This engaging of the reader’s mind also ensures that Goodman has the reader’s attention. When the reader does the math to find a drop of 73 full-time foreign news correspondents employed by US papers in just 8 short years, she will find herself predisposed to agree with Goodman’s call for more professional foreign news reporting.

     In addition to employing facts to his argument’s advantage, Goodman also cunningly discusses the counterargument to his position. By writing about how social media and man-on-the-ground reporting has had some positive impact on the state of foreign news reporting, Goodman heads off naysayers at the pass. It would have been very easy for Goodman to elide over the whole issue of citizen reporting, but the resultant one-sided argument would have been much less convincing. Instead, Goodman acknowledges things like “the force of social media during the Arab Spring, as activists convened and reacted to changing circumstances.” As a result, when he partially refutes this counterargument, stating the “unease” many longtime profession correspondents feel over the trend of ‘citizen journalism’ feel, the reader is much more likely to believe him. After all, Goodman acknowledges that social media does have some power. Knowing that Goodman takes the power of social media seriously will make the reader more inclined, in turn, to take Goodman’s concern about the limits of social media seriously.

     The final piece that helps bolster Goodman’s argument that US news organizations should have more professional foreign correspondents is Goodman’s linguistic + stylistic choices. Goodman uses contrasts to draw the reader deeper into his mindset. By setting up the contrast between professional reporters as “informational filters” that discriminate good from bad and amateur, man-on-the-spot reporters as undiscriminating “funnels,” Goodman forces the reader to view the two in opposition and admit that professional filters are to be preferred over funnels that add “speculatio, propaganda, and other white noise” to their reporting. In addition, Goodman drives the reader along toward agreeing with his conclusion in the penultimate paragraph of the article with the repetition of the phrase “We need.” With every repetition, Goodman hammers even further home the inescapable rightness of his argument. The use of “We” more generally through the article serves to make the readers feel sympathetic towards Goodman and identify with him.

     By employing the rhetorical techniques of presenting facts, acknowledging the other side, and using persuasive language, Goodman convinces the reader of his claim.

 

Here are our notes on what stands out in this essay (general comments are in purple, spelling/grammar errors are highlighted in yellow):

 




 

Note that not every 8/8/8 essay needs to have exactly the same items in here, nor do you need to argue in exactly the same way. But the elements in this essay make it a standout and demonstrate clear mastery.

And now for the million-dollar question:

 

What Makes This SAT Essay an 8 Rather Than a 6?

Maybe you get the theory behind what makes an essay an 8/8/8, but how can you tell the difference between a 6 and an 8 in practice? Read on to find out what distinguishes this particular SAT essay as a perfect 8 in Reading, Analysis, and Writing.

 

Precise Language

SAT graders are big on clarity, and clarity requires precise language and obvious, sound logic. In this essay, vivid language is used effectively and appropriately:

  • Goodman is described as bombarding the reader with facts and figures
  • The writer describes Goodman as arguing his point using not just language but persuasive and compelling language:
  • The effect of Goodman’s argument is not just that it convinces the reader, but that "the reader…will find herself predisposed to agree with Goodman’s call for more professional foreign news reporting."

All of this clear and precise language helps support and explain the author's point (just as Goodman’s language supports his point in the text!).

 

Effective Analysis and Organization

The writer's clarity extends to her logic as well. Sufficient background is given to make it clear the writer read and understood the text. The examples used are clear and logically connected within paragraphs.

The writer also makes sure to identify the what/why/what of the author's argumentative devices:

  • What are the techniques the author used to persuade the reader of his claim?
  • Why did the author use them?
  • What effect does their use have on the reader?

The organization of the essay follows the organization set out in the introduction: the writer first discusses facts and evidence, then the presentation and refutation of a counterargument, then compelling language. Organization in the essay is aided by transitions between all paragraphs, which create a smooth, consistent argument that is easy to follow.

 

Consistency Throughout

The clarity of the argument and the lack of errors remain consistent from start to finish. The highlighted errors are few and do not detract or distract from the meaning of the essay. The wording of the thesis statement in the introduction and the conclusion is similar but not identical, and the description of how Goodman builds his argument is the same.

 

Dos piezas by Raúl Hernández González, used under CC BY 2.0/Cropped from original.

 

Variety

The author uses a variety of words (marked in blue) and sentence structures to convey similar ideas in different ways throughout the essay. For instance, social media, man-on-the-ground (or man-on-the-spot) reporting, citizen journalism, and amateur reporting are all different words and phrases used to describe the same phenomenon of non-professional foreign news correspondents.

In paragraph 4, there's also a good example of a skillfully executed variation in sentence structure. “Knowing that Goodman takes the power of social media seriously will make the reader more inclined…” could easily be the simpler “Goodman takes the power of social media seriously, which makes the reader more likely to agree…” This kind of linguistic "flourish" can be found in most top-scoring SAT Essays.

Note that all of the varied usage described above is effective as well as varied. SAT vocab words and differening sentence structures aren't thrown into the essay haphazardly—it's clear, effective writing like what you might read in the New York Times.

 

Detailed Support and Length

The essay is long enough to detail three complex examples (discussing Goodman’s use of facts and evidence, a counterargument, and vivid language) and include introductory and concluding paragraphs.

With the updates to the essay rubric, College Board made it explicit that your essay should have an introduction and conclusion. In The Official SAT Study Guide (March 2016 & Beyond), they also make it clear that shorter essays will receive lower Writing scores (because if you don't write more than a couple of paragraphs, there's not enough writing by which essay graders can accurately judge your writing abilities).

But length means nothing if there isn't valuable information filling the space, so long SAT essays also need to be detailed—this author uses the space to give lots of context for her examples.

 

Dos and Don’ts for an 8/8/8 SAT Essay

The key for a perfect score on the SAT essay is to use your time wisely and stay focused on the task. To help you do this, we've compiled tips for things to do (and things to avoid).

 

Do spend time:

  • Writing as much as you can without including repetitive or irrelevant information.
  • Revising the first and last paragraphs (they stand out in readers’ minds).
  • Making sure you have effective transitions for a seamless essay.
  • Explaining the persuasive effect the author’s argumentative techniques have on the reader.

 

Don't spend time:

  • Thinking of “smart-sounding" evidence—analysis of how the author used a personal anecdote is just as viable as a discussion of the author’s use of logos and other rhetorical strategies.
  • Trying to correct every single error—the grammar and the spelling do not have to be perfect to score an 8 in Writing. This doesn't mean that you should just leave sentence fragments all over the place, but it does mean that accidentally leaving off the last letter of a word or making a small subject/verb agreement error won't be the end of the world (or of your perfect SAT essay score). Spend the extra time trying to write more and develop your points.
  • Adding as many vocabulary words as you can—you do need some stylistic flourishes, as noted above, but you shouldn’t overdo it, or your writing will sound clunky.

 

How to Train to Improve Your SAT Essay Score

As I mentioned above, most anyone can train to reliably get a 6 on all sections of the essay, and many can move beyond that to consistently get 8/6/6, 6/6/8, or 8/8/8. Here’s a framework for how to do this:

  • Read through our complete list of SAT essay prompts.
  • Memorize a list of persuasive techniques that you can find in most essay prompt articles.
  • Start by practicing with extended time (80 minutes) so you can feel what it takes to get a top-scoring essay. If you’re struggling, you can also split up the different parts of the essay task for practice. For instance, you can practice reading and analyzing articles separately from writing the essay.
  • Find a way to grade your essay. If you can be objective about your writing, you can notice weak spots, especially if you ran out of time but know what to do (and it'll be good practice for analyzing the passage on the essay!). Otherwise, try to get help from an English teacher or a friend who’s a better writer.
  • Start narrowing your essay time down to 50 minutes to mirror the actual test.

 

What’s Next?

Ready to get started with practice essays? Check out our thorough analysis of the SAT essay prompt and our complete list of prompts to practice with.

Use our 15 tips to improve your SAT essay score.

Follow along as I take you through how to write a top-scoring SAT essay, step by step.

Took the old SAT essay and want to know what's changed? Read our complete guide to the March 2016 SAT essay here.

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Looking for a great way to prep? Check out PrepScholar's online prep program. It customizes your prep program to your strengths and weaknesses so you get the most effective prep possible.

Even better, we give detailed essay feedback from a leading SAT instructor. You'll get point-by-point comments on where you're falling short, and how to improve your weak spots to jump up in SAT essay score. Click below to sign up for our 5-day free trial.

 

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