How can you guarantee your essay will be organized if you don't organize it before you write it? After briefly brainstorming examples that answer the prompt, make a short outline of your essay in a standard five-paragraph structure.
ETS (the company that writes the test) says the essay is graded holistically, meaning your writing is judged by the overall impression it makes. The graders won't be spending hours tearing apart your piece. Yet brainstorming and outlining a plan is actually the most important thing students can do to improve their essay scores. Graders take only a few minutes to grade each essay they receive, so it's paramount to present an organized, easy-to-follow essay that is consistent and to the point. As of spring 2016, the essay section will change with the New SAT, and it will up to colleges and universities to choose whether it will be required of applicants. These SAT essay tips cover the current SAT essay (offered through fall of 2015). You won't get an extra sheet of paper! (Indented) Paragraphs Are Your Friend, remember the basic essay structure you learned in school: introductory paragraph, body paragraphs and a conclusion? The graders love it! This is in large part because of its broad, philosophical topics and the brief time limit 25 minutes in which students must complete it. Each SAT essay is given a score of 1-6 by two graders, for a total of 12 points. Also, make sure to watch your spelling. Years of using word processing software and spell-check may have caused your spelling to occasionally suffer. But the SAT essay is handwritten, which means you will have to check your own spelling.