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Tip 1: Acing the SAT Essay Test Even If You're a Bad Writer: A Step by Step Guide Part I - A Step by Step Guide for Acing the Essay Portion of the New SAT even one considers himself-herself a bad writer.

Tip2: SAT Essay - How to Write a Quick and Easy Essay - Writing your SAT essay doesn't have to be difficult or exhausting. Use the following formula to help you write the best essay possible in least amount of time.


Tip 1 : Acing the SAT Essay Test Even If You're a Bad Writer: A Step by Step Guide Part I

By John Liu

As if the multiple choice questions weren't enough, the New SAT requires test takers to provide a sample of their writing in the form of an essay. You might think to yourself: "I'm a horrible writer. How the heck will I be able to get through this portion of the test?"

Don't worry. Even if you consider yourself to be a "horrible writer," the SAT essay portion is the easiest portion of the test that a test taker can "train" for. The SAT essay counts for one third of your Writing section score and it should be the easiest section to do well on.

Format: You have twenty five minutes. Therefore you should aim to write a 5 paragraph essay with an introduction, 3 body paragraphs and a conclusion. Five minutes a paragraph? Think that's impossible? Read on to find out.

Introduction The essay prompt will usually have a question with two sides to it. Your job is to pick a side and explain why you chose it.

Sample Prompt: Do you think the government has too much power or do you think the government has to little power?

So now its up to you to pick which side you want to support. It doesn't matter if you don't agree with the side you decide to write about. You should pick the side that you know about the most. If you can think of many examples on why the government has too much power, then go ahead and write about that.

After deciding what side to support you will then have to pick examples to support your side. Three good examples or two great ones is usually the right amount. Avoid just doing one. Most importantly avoid hypothetical examples. Make sure your example are from movies, books, or recent events.

Make sure you have at least one or two examples from books, movies, and recent events. That way you have space for the easiest example: the personal example. The personal example allows you to use events from your life to support the side you picked. Maybe your dad is a teacher and he feels the government has too much power in determining how science should be taught in schools. Write about that. Your dad not a scientist? Hmm, but how would the college board know if you said he was? This is the beauty of the personal experience example. You can make up something and use it as a personal experience. Just try to not make it obvious that you're smudging the truth. For example, don't say your dad is a top level professor at Harvard. Just keep it simple and say he's a high school teacher.

So in your introduction you should say: what side you picked and examples you will use to support your side. If you can think of some clever first line (maybe relating to the example you are going to use) to draw the reader in, put it in. If not, don't waste time on thinking up one. Just go ahead and declare what you view is in the first line of the essay.

John Liu is a freshman studying at Cornell University. He achieved a score of 2140 on the SAT and got into the Ivy League without the help of a $900 Kaplan or Princeton Review course. Visit his site for Part II of this guide and more SAT and College admission tips.

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Tip2: SAT Essay - How to Write a Quick and Easy Essay

The Exam Structure

The first thing you need to do is to think of your essay as three parts; the opening, the body and the closing.

Your opening should consist of one paragraph of about three to five sentences. It should clearly state your view on the topic and how you are going to support this view. Due to time limits, it is best to use only three points to defend your position. If possible try to catch the reader’s attention with a controversial statement that compels them to read more. However, avoid clichés.

The body is your content and should support the three points made in your opening. Each point should be explained in a separate paragraph and flow logically between ideas. Be direct and to the point. Don’t get wordy or you will get stuck in these paragraphs and the body is not the most important part of your essay. Support your ideas and move on to the closing.

The closing is where you bring your message together. Review your position and the points that support your view, then call your readers to some type of action by asking them to make a decision, buy something or support an organization. The closing is the most important part of your essay. It requires your best effort. If you spend too much time on your points and don’t have a well thought out closing it will cost you. It is better to have a weak body and a powerful closing than a weak closing or no closing at all.

How to Begin Your Essay

You begin your essay by carefully reading the assigned topic. Then develop an outline that you will use as a guide while writing your actual essay. The first part of your outline should be a sentence that states your position on the topic. Next, you should list the points that will support your position and determine your body paragraphs. Finally, you should write a sentence that states your closing.

Taking the time to prepare an outline will keep you focused on the task at hand and allow you to make the most of your time.

The Outline

state your positionfirst pointsecond pointthird pointconclusion

Writing the Essay

Now, armed with your outline, begin writing your essay. Start your opening paragraph with an attention grabbing statement that will draw the reader deeper into your essay. Then state your view and the points that support that view. Next write the body by supporting each of the points in a separate paragraph. Remember, don’t get wordy just explain the points and move on to your closing.

You must have a closing! Do not get caught up in the body of the essay. You will not impress anyone without a closing. The closing is the most important part of the essay. Make sure you have time to write a well thought out closing that brings all your points together and moves the reader to action.

If you follow this formula for writing your SAT essay you will have plenty of time to write and complete a good essay. Whether it will be a great essay depends on your individual ability to write.

The number one thing you can do to improve your SAT scores is practice, practice, and practice some more.

10 Point Check Up

1. Decide your position and determine your supporting points.

2. Organize your thoughts with an outline.

3. Be direct and to the point.

4. Provide examples and clear explanations.

5. Avoid generalizations.

6. Use transitional phrases for a logical flow.

7. Use variety in sentence structure.

8. Maintain a consistent tone throughout the essay.

9. Avoid being wordy.


NOTE: The above is useful for writing an essay on any type of exam not just the SAT.

If you want more information on SAT testing and preparation go to <a target="_new" href=""></a>

Darrell Causey has been teaching and coaching for the past 27 years. He is an eight time Who's Who Among America's Teachers inductee. Mr. Causey coaches and prepares several students every year for the SAT test

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