Quick… answer this question: “Are all important discoveries the result of focusing on one subject?” You must commit to a side and develop a strong point of view – no waffling. You must draw upon your knowledge and experience for specific examples that support your position. You must use proper, precise English; and write your two-page, five-paragraph answer into an old-fashioned paper booklet using a #2 pencil. College acceptance hangs in the balance, because you’re about to write the SAT essay. Go! You’ve got 25 minutes.
Since its launch in 2005, the SAT essay has endured its share of criticism from scholars, some of whom argue (among other things) that the essay rewards length and not substance. Many four-year institutions ignore the results, believing that the essay is not an effective measure of students’ writing skills. Certainly, very few observers would disagree that the essay task itself appears, at first glance, to be exceedingly contrived.
The happy owl – who graduated high school many, many moons ago – took one look at a list of typical SAT essay questions and declared, “I’d have never gotten into college!”
Lament though we might, the SAT essay is now a fact of college prep life. The College Board says that it’s a student’s “opportunity to show how effectively [he or she] can develop and express ideas.” I would add that practicing for it affords students an excellent opportunity to sharpen those “think-on-your-feet” persuasion skills that come in mighty handy in college – and beyond.
Scholar’s Secret’s new SAT Essay Prep program teaches students how to approach this tough task in a systematic way that can be easily transferred to other, more typical persuasive tasks. We show them how to quickly:
- Digest the problem and document the evidence (3 minutes)
- Evaluate the evidence and commit to a side (2 minutes)
- Outline the argument and draft the essay (17 minutes)
- Proofread and revise (3 minutes – time flies, doesn’t it?!)
Through a combination of writing assignments and tools – which we’ve specifically designed to develop “argumentation-on-the-fly” skills – and targeted, 1:1 feedback, students learn to write point-winning essays and become better thinkers while they’re at it. Is the SAT on your horizon? Contact Scholar’s Secret today!