Before preparing for the SAT or ACT essay, make sure you know what to expect on each.
The SAT and ACT Essays each present new and unique challenges, each the product of a recent redesign that has vastly changed both the look of each writing test as well as the rubric with which a student’s essay is graded.
The grading rubric is designed to award the highest points to an essay that demonstrates an accurate grasp of the prompt, each of the three perspectives, and presents a lucid and reasonable response with concrete support examples.
It’s crucial that students be familiar with the exact grading rubric of the ACT essay, as this will allow them to make the best use of their 40 minutes on the essay section.
The essay prompt describes an issue and provides three different perspectives on the issue.
Students are tasked with three distinct objectives for the essay: to ‘evaluate and analyze the three given perspectives’; to ‘state and develop’ their own perspective; and to ‘explain the relationship’ between their perspectives and those given.The basic mental checklist for every student should include the following five questions: Answering these five questions with a satisfactory yes will yield the best score results.Additional information that is helpful to know ahead of time is that students’ writing score is, of course, not factored into the overall ACT composite score out of 36.But, you aren’t agreeing or disagreeing with what the author is saying, and you definitely won’t have to share any personal experiences.Instead, you are explaining how the author of the passage constructs their argument.Their score will not be affected by what perspective they take on the issue.Consider the following prompt featured on the ACT website: There is a fair amount of reading to be done here even before the student can begin to write.When preparing for the SAT or ACT it’s important to understand all the nuances of each exam, including the sections, content, question types, and more.Even though the essay is optional on both exams, many colleges still require an SAT or ACT essay or writing score in order to be considered for admission.For this reason, the student will receive three separate scores for the SAT Essay: a reading, analysis, and writing score.This is a tough essay assignment under any circumstances, much less one that the student must complete in 50 minutes as the last section of the SAT.