A Brief Guide to the SAT Essay

The Mysterious SAT Essay

Students are mystified by this essay because they often haven’t had to write an analytical essay in just this way. But, the SAT essay is only asking you to identify the rhetorical structures the author uses and write your own organized essay discussing them.

Does the SAT Essay Score Count?

The large majority of schools (primarily the Ivy League level ones) have started to disregard the scores on the essay. I believe this is because the scoring seems to be wildly inconsistent. There are 2 readers who each give your essay a score out of 4 in each of 3 categories. With a scale of 1 to 4, it should be fairly clear that there is a difference between a 2 and a 3. However, there are plenty of 5s floating around. This means one reader gave the essay a 2 (lacking) and the other gave it a 3 (good). How can this be possible?

This inconsistency is a reason why school like to see the essay, but are not considering the “score” as part of their criteria for determining acceptance.

Why the Essay is important for International Students

International students need to prove that they have the English skills to perform well at a College level. A well-written essay can show the admissions committee that you have the ability to write coherently while under pressure.

Download the PDF Guide

The guide contains a clear step by step approach to writing the essay along with a list of the rhetorical features you should look for and write about.

Cover of The Guide to the Global Conversation passages. A purple background with a stack of books to the left.
Line drawing of a little girls sitting on a stool reading a book.

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