About SAT Exam
Approaches to the Writing Section
Multiple-Choice Writing Questions
- Read the directions carefully, and then follow them.
- Look at the explanations for each correct answer when you use practice materials. Even if you got the question right, you may learn something from the explanation.
- Eliminate the choices you are sure are wrong when you are not sure of the answer. Make an educated guess from those that remain.
There are no short cuts to success on the SAT essay. You will not receive high scores on your essay just because it is long, or has five paragraphs, or uses literary examples. The high school and college teachers who score the SAT reward essays that develop a point of view with appropriate reasons and examples and use language skillfully. So what can you do to write a successful SAT essay?
- Read the entire assignment. It's all there to help you. Every essay assignment contains a short paragraph about the issue. Imagine that you are talking to the author of the paragraph about the issue. Would you argue with him or her, or agree? What other ideas or examples would you bring up? Answering these questions will help you develop your own point of view.
- Don't oversimplify. Developing your point of view doesn't mean coming up with as many examples as you can. Rushing to give multiple relevant examples can lead you to oversimplify a complex topic. An essay with one or two thoughtful, well-developed reasons or examples is more likely to get a high score than an essay with three short, simplistic examples.
- There's nothing wrong with "I." You are asked to develop your point of view on the issue, not give a straight report of the facts. This is your opinion, so feel free to use "I," and give examples that are meaningful to you, even ones from your personal life or experiences. Of course you need to support your ideas appropriately, and show that you can use language well, but remember: the essay is an opportunity for you to say what you think about an issue relevant to your life.