If you’re already shuddering at the thought of SATs, you’re in good company. On the bright side, many colleges are placing less weight on SATs for admission than they have in the past while using other factors to determine eligibility. These scores are still relevant to some schools and programs, however, so it’s important to do your best and find ways to make the most of your time during the exam.
In the writing and language section of the test, you only have about 50 minutes to write an essay that’s worthy of a high score. Believe it or not, this is usually feasible as long as you have a plan. Check out the cool tips offered by this video to learn how you can write a smashing SAT essay within the time limit!
Step One: Read Over the Prompt
Before even looking at any of the other materials, check out the prompt first. This will probably only take you about one minute. It can give you better context, so you know what to look for while reading the passage. If you’re asked to answer specific questions or analyze a line within the excerpt, you’ll have an easier time picking out the parts you need to focus on.
Step Two: Read the Passage
Once you understand what the prompt wants you to do, go back and read the passage so you can start finding relevant details. You can spare 15 minutes or so to go over the excerpt and pick out important ideas and details. This step is about making sure you have accurate knowledge of what the author is trying to convey.
Step Three: Create an Outline
Some say outlines are overrated — but when you’re pressed for time, they can come in handy. You probably won’t be able to write a stream of consciousness and then do heavy edits once you’ve finished this assignment. So spend about five minutes making a quick outline that contains your introduction, thesis statement, supporting points and conclusion. As long as you have a basic idea of how to structure the essay, you can make it more organized and concise.
Step 4: Write the Essay
Yes, we’ve finally arrived at the actual “write the essay” part of the process. If you understand the material and you’ve developed a brief outline, you can probably do this in about 25 minutes. If you don’t have enough time for all your supporting paragraphs, just try to hit the main points or ideas that you feel are the most important. Prioritize offering all the information that you can while keeping your writing as clear and clean as possible.
Step 5: Review the Essay
You can use the last few minutes you have left to review your essay and address any errors you may have made. Focus on catching any spelling or grammar mistakes and make sure you’ve touched on all the ideas you wanted to cover. Once the timer goes off or your supervisor tells you to stop, you’ll know that your essay is as ready as it can be.
Follow these steps during your SAT exam to manage your time and convey your thoughts in a well-ordered manner. We know this can be a nerve-wracking experience, but you’ll get through it if you keep it cool and remember to breathe. You’ve made it this far — it’s time to take that next big leap.
~Here’s to Your Success!
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